Macy's names BCG partner Adrian Mitchell as new CFO

23 October 2020 3 min. read
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Macy’s Inc. has appointed Adrian Mitchell, a partner at strategy firm Boston Consulting Group (BCG), as its chief financial officer effective November 2.

Mitchell will oversee the US retailer’s finance functions, including accounting, treasury, investor relations, internal audit, financial/capital planning & analysis, and procurement. He succeeds interim CFO Felicia Williams, who held the position since May, when former CFO Paula Price stepped down after nearly two years in the role.

Mitchell brings more than 20 years of experience in financial, operational, and strategy roles, with a focus on the retail industry. He spent the last three years at BCG's Chicago office, where he was a partner in the Digital BCG and consumer practices. At BCG, he advised top retailers on growth strategy, operational improvement, and digital and data-driven initiatives.

Before that he spent a year as CEO of home furnishings retailer Arhaus LLC, and five years at Crate and Barrel, where he was the COO and CFO, and then interim CEO, COO, and CFO between 2014 and 2015.

Adrian Mitchell, CFO, Macy's Inc.

Prior to that, Mitchell was director of strategy & interactive design for, and director of innovation and productivity for the company’s physical stores. He started his career at strategy firm McKinsey & Company, where he spent 10 years working on customer-centric transformation programs for consumer-oriented companies. While at the firm, Mitchell co-founded the North America Lean retailing practice.

He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Louisiana State University.

“In a retail environment where change is accelerating beyond what we could have imagined a year ago, Adrian’s depth of financial and operational experience, coupled with his leadership in strategy, innovation, and transformation, will help us on our path to emerge a stronger company.”

The coronavirus pandemic has further hammered brick-and-mortar retailers that were previously being waylaid by e-commerce disruption. Apparel and home goods have been particularly affected as consumers shop less at physical stores, change their buying habits (just sweatpants, thanks), and tighten their non-essential spending.

Companies with viable omni-channel strategies have seen a boost to their e-commerce businesses during the pandemic. Macy’s reported its digital sales grew 53% year-over-year in the second quarter – though its net sales dropped from $5.5 million to $3.6 million.

Macy’s announced in February that it would shut 125 stores in the next three years and trim its corporate staff. The company is expected to place more resources into digital commerce ahead of a holiday season that will see customers increasingly opt for online shopping.

“We are also focused on laying the groundwork for 2021 and beyond. We plan to invest in fashion, digital and omnichannel, work with agility, and galvanize the resources of the company to serve our customers and move the Macy’s, Inc. business forward,” said CEO Gennette in a statement.

The department store hopes to pick up customers from its more heavily impacted rivals such as JC Penney, Nieman Marcus, and Lord & Taylor, all of which have filed for bankruptcy during the pandemic. Gennette in September said that he sees $10 billion in market share up for grabs because of the current retail reckoning.

With higher-end retailers like Nordstrom’s and Lord & Taylor shuttering outlets, the firm also sees an opportunity for its luxury banner Bloomingdale’s. “Bloomingdale’s is having a moment,” Gennette told CNBC. “We have brands in our arsenal that we didn’t have before that are looking for additional distribution.”