Marisa Thalberg, executive vice president and chief brand and marketing officer.
Source: Marisa Thalberg
Lowe’s chief marketing officer Marisa Thalberg has left the retailer as part of a wider reorganization, the company said Tuesday.
The home improvement retailer has scrapped its role and moved its marketing team under Bill Boltz, executive vice president of merchandising. Thalberg previously reported directly to CEO Marvin Ellison.
Thalberg’s departure is part of a growing wave of retail leadership changes. Gap, GameStop and Bed Bath & Beyond are among the other retailers that have lost C-suite executives. Such turmoil has gained momentum as stimulus-fueled spending wanes and some consumers are pulling back on discretionary purchases due to inflation. For some companies, especially beneficiaries of the great pandemic like Peloton, this meant a sudden and dramatic drop in sales.
Lowe’s has also seen a slowdown. Same-store sales have fallen in the past two quarters. The company said it now expects total and comparable sales for the year at the lower end of its outlook. It had forecast sales of $97 billion to $99 billion and comparable store sales up 1% to 1%.
Thalberg stepped into the role in February 2020, a month before the pandemic began and sparked a surge in home improvement spending. She oversaw several high-profile campaigns, including TV commercials on ESPN during the NFL Draft, and an extensive effort to take advantage of the holiday season.
Before joining Lowe’s, she was Taco Bell’s global chief brand officer and worked for Estee Lauder, Unilever Cosmetics International and Revlon.
Lowe’s tapped the ad to lure customers as the retailer reconsidered its wider business and became more confrontational with bigger rival Home Depot. Led by Ellison, who joined Lowe’s in 2018, the home improvement retailer has relaunched its website, introduced a new loyalty program to chase the dollars of home professionals, and expanded its merchandise mix to include fitness equipment, pet supplies and more home decor.
It also wanted to refresh its image and tapped Thalberg to see to it. At the time of her appointment, Ellison said Lowe hired her to put a more modern spin on Lowe’s marketing approach, such as personalizing social media posts for customers rather than relying on traditional channels like TV and radio.
Thalberg was not immediately available for comment.
Lowe’s said Thalberg’s departure is one of several company-wide changes that took effect Friday. It said any changes are intended “to improve alignment within the company and position Lowe’s for success.”
The company targeting home professionals such as electricians and contractors will now fall under retail operations. Tony Hurst, a senior vice president who oversees Lowe’s pro business, will now report to Joe McFarland, Lowe’s executive vice president of stores. He previously reported directly to Ellison.
The online team, previously led by Boltz, will now be under the technology team rather than the merchandising team. Mike Shady, senior vice president of online, will report directly to Lowe’s chief digital and information officer Seemantini Godbole.
Lowe’s CMO role has not been filled. Instead, Lowe’s has promoted Jen Wilson to senior vice president of enterprise brand and marketing, and she will report to Boltz.
Shares of Lowe’s are down about 25% so far this year, closing at $192.96 on Tuesday.
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