Kohl’s Chief Merchant Doug Howe Leaving

·2 min read

Kohl’s Corp., which just wrapped up (and won) a bruising proxy battle with activist investors and has been fielding takeover offers, is seeing some C-suite changeover as well. 

Doug Howe, who has been the off-mall retailer’s chief merchandising officer since 2018, is leaving the company effectively immediately, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 

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The SEC filing also noted that the company announced last week that chief marketing officer Greg Revelle would leave on June 1. 

“Greg Revelle and Doug Howe are leaving Kohl’s to pursue other opportunities,” Kohl’s said in a statement. “We thank them for their contributions and wish them well. A search for the replacements is already underway. In the meantime, we have a deep bench of marketing and merchandising talent that will ensure the continued execution of our strategies.”

The changes come just ahead of Kohl’s first-quarter earnings reveal on Thursday morning. 

Activist investor Macellum Advisors, which has been critical of the company’s financial performance and pushed for steps to boost shareholder value, sought to replace the company’s board of directors. 

While that bid failed, Kohl’s has attracted interest from the outside, with Acacia Research Corp., Leonard Green & Partners, Sycamore Partners and Hudson’s Bay Co. all said to have been among the players considering a buyout.  

Now, Howe will watch how that process plays out from the outside. 

He had a big portfolio at Kohl’s, overseeing all of its merchandise strategy — including digital, merchandising and buying, planning and allocation, product design, development and sourcing, and merchandise strategy and innovation. 

Before Kohl’s, he was global chief chief merchandising officer for Qurate Retail Group, leading QVC and HSN’s product leadership agenda.

 

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