Sunday, November 27, 2011

More Reshuffling: Number Two Marketing Exec Follows CMO Uwins Out the Door at Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market

Tesco's Fresh & Easy celebrated birthday number four November 9.

The top-level management reshuffling and integration of the marketing function into a new combination buying-merchandising-marketing department headed by chief customer officer and former chief commercial (buying and merchandising) officer John Burry continues at Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.

The latest departure from the Fresh & Easy's El Segundo, California headquarters is marketing operations director Paul Madarieta, who was the number two marketing executive in what was until a couple weeks ago the standalone marketing department.

Madarieta, now gone, reported directly to former chief marketing officer (CMO) Simon Uwins, who as we were the first to report in this story on November 10 left Fresh & Easy and Tesco in a top-level shakeup initiated by Philip Clarke, the CEO of Tesco, and Tesco group deputy CEO/chief marketing officer Tim Mason, who's also the CEO of Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.

Madarieta joined Fresh & Easy in late 2007 in a retail operations capacity. His title before moving into marketing was regional director of California stores.

He was later brought into the grocery chain's corporate marketing department by CEO Mason, who, according to our sources, believed his knowledge of retail operations, particularly in California, and high-level of enthusiasm would make him a good addition to the department and to the grocery chain's marketing efforts.

Mason, who since March of this year has been Tesco's chief marketing officer and deputy CEO, in addition to remaining CEO of Fresh & Easy, was the United Kingdom-based global retailer's chief marketing officer before coming to California in 2006 to start up Fresh & as its founding CEO.

Madarieta became Fresh & Easy's marketing operations director in January 2010.

As part of the shake up that resulted in Simon Uwins' leaving Fresh & Easy (see here), Madarieta was offered a lessor position in the new, combined department being headed up by John Burry, which he ultimately declined, instead leaving the 184-store fresh food and grocery chain, according to our sources.

Madarieta's position, like that of his former boss Simon Uwins, has been eliminated by Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood market recently posted an advertisement for a marketing analyst, a position that pays considerably less a salary than the former marketing operations director position, and a whole lot less than the chief marketing officer position formerly held by Uwins. The marketing analyst will work in the new joint commercial (buying-merchandising)-marketing department being headed up by chief customer officer John Burry.

Prior to joining Tesco's Fresh & Easy, Paul Madarieta spent a number of years working for iconic specialty grocer Trader Joe's, which Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has sought to emulate in a number of operational and merchandising ways, ranging from store size and look and its focus on private brands, to putting an emphasis on the wine category, among others.

Madarieta started out as a crew member (store clerk) at Trader Joe's. He later became a store captain (store manager), and from there was promoted to a regional vice president position with the Southern California-based grocery chain.

Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has hired a number of former Trader Joe's employees.

For example, Larry Biggerstaff, Fresh & Easy's current director of grocery buying and merchandising (reporting to John Burry), was the vice president of merchandising at Trader Joe's prior to joining El Segundo, California-based Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market last year, as we reported in this September 11, 2010 story - Ex-Trader Joe's VP, Winn-Dixie Exec Larry Biggerstaff New Director of Grocery at Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.

A number of category managers and buyers at Fresh & Easy also have previously worked for Trader Joe's, which is headquartered in the Southern California city of Monrovia.

For example, in the November 10 story about Simon Uwins' departure, we mentioned that three key mid-level headquarters employees had also recently left the grocery chain.

One of the employees who left in the last 60 days is Mei-Lon Jimenez, who until her departure was the category manager for bakery at Fresh & Easy, and prior to joining the grocery chain worked for Trader Joe's.

In her position at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, Jimenez played a significant role in the start up of the new in-store bakery departments the grocer is putting in many of its stores. We broke the news about the bakery development in this May 18, 2011 story. Fresh & Easy started the in-store bakery installations late this summer. It's on the record as saying its goal is to have the bakeries in about 100 of its 184 grocery markets by the end of this year.

The former Fresh & Easy bakery category manager is now working for the Coles supermarket chain in Australia.

We discovered she joined the down-under supermarket chain two weeks ago when Coles' posted her name on a portion of its website, listing her as its new category manager for cheese. A senior executive at the supermarket chain confirmed the posting. She started at the down-under chain last week, according to the source.

Coles' is headed up by former British supermarket executive Ian McLeod. Its senior management team includes numerous veterans of the food and grocery retailing business in the United Kingdom, including Tesco, as we detailed in this December 25, 2009 piece: It's 'British Invasion: The Sequel Down Under' For Former Tesco Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market Director of Grocery Charlotte Maxwell.

Another related Coles-Tesco Fresh & Easy angle: Charlotte Maxwell, who worked for Tesco for nine years and was the director of grocery buying and merchandising at Fresh & Easy from 2006 until August 22, 2008, joined Coles in April 2009 as its general manager of deli and bakery, which includes cheese. Ironically, she left Coles (about 30 days ago) to pursue other occupational opportunities. (Click here to read about Ms. Maxwell's departure from Tesco's Fresh & Easy and her joining Coles in Australia.)

With the departure of the number one (Simon Uwins) and two (Paul Madarieta) marketing executives at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market, chief customer officer John Burry has taken on the dual-responsibility for the corporate commercial (buying and merchandising) and marketing functions at the Tesco-owned chain, as we reported in our November 10 story.

Additionally, as we noted in the story, Tim Lee, who's been Fresh & Easy's director of fresh foods, reporting to Burry, is stepping in as a key player in the grocery chain's marketing efforts. He continues to report to Burry

Lee is being replaced as director of fresh foods by Ian Fletcher, who previously was in charge of Fresh & Easy's kitchen operation. He too reports to John Burry, as does Lee and director of grocery Larry Biggerstaff.

From a balance sheet (cost savings) perspective, Uwins' salary is being absorbed into Burry's, perhaps with a slight bump, while Madarieta's position and salary will essentially be absorbed by Tim Lee. As previously noted, the two marketing positions have been eliminated.

Tesco will report its 2011/12 fiscal year third quarter results on December 8, although it won't likely offer specific sales and loss numbers for Fresh & Easy, as it generally doesn't do so except when reporting half (interim) and full-year results.

On October 5, 2011 Tesco reported a fiscal 2011/12 half-year loss of $112 million for Fresh & Easy, on sales of $470 million. The loss is 21-23% (depending on how recorded) lower than the one reported for Fresh & Easy for the same period in the previous fiscal year.

The United Kingdom-based global retailer's CEO, Philip Clarke, says Tesco will break-even with Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market by the end of the 2012/13 fiscal year, which is 15 months away. The 2012/13 fiscal year ends February 2013. Tesco reports its sales and profits/loss for the year in April 2013.

Post Script: Take a look at prediction number 7 in this story from last year - December 30, 2010: Seven Predictions For Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market For 2011.

Also see these columns by our 'The Insider' columnist, all published before Philip Clarke became CEO of Tesco in March 2011:

>October 8, 2010: Incoming Tesco CEO Philip Clarke Needs to 'Imagine' When it Comes to Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA

>September 13, 2010: Reading Philip Clarke's Tea Leaves: Might A Mixed Corporate/Franchise Model Be in Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's Future?

>June 12, 2010: Will Phil Clarke Shake Things up at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA When He Becomes Tesco CEO in 2011?

Additional Related Stories

November 17, 2011: 'Meat Guru'-Category Manager Bill Arnold Out at Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market

November 10, 2011: Chief Marketing Officer Uwins Out in Top-Level Reshuffling at Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.

October 27, 2011: Former Meat Buyer Wins $400,000-Plus Legal Judgment From Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market

February 23, 2011: Incoming Tesco CEO Philip Clarke Visits America - And Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market

February 28, 2011: Changing of the Guard: Clarke Takes Over the Reins as Tesco CEO Wednesday

Click on this link -  - for more related stories.

[Photo credit: Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market.]

No comments: