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Kohl’s Corp. parts ways with president and chief operating officer after 8 months

'There will be no backfill for this position,' Kohl's CEO says Tuesday

A pair of shoppers arrive at a Kohl's
A pair of shoppers arrive at a Kohl’s on Nov. 26, 2021, in Everett, Mass. Josh Reynolds/AP File Photo

The president and chief operating officer at Kohl’s Corp. has parted ways with the Menomonee Falls-based retailer, just eight months after joining the company.

The announcement came one day before the company reported a net sales decrease of 5.2 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period last year, fueled primarily by a drop in digital sales.

In a filing with the federal Securities and Exchange Commission Monday, Kohl’s revealed President Dave Alves is no longer in his position. He left the company Nov. 17.

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Alves was responsible for overseeing the retailer’s nearly 1,200 stores, global supply chain, distribution centers, real estate portfolio, purchasing, sustainability, risk management and compliance functions.

He had served as president and chief operating officer since April, and reported to Chief Executive Officer Tom Kingsbury, who assumed his role in February after serving as interim CEO since December 2022.

Officials with Kohl’s declined to be interviewed, but a spokesperson said in a statement that Alves left “to pursue other opportunities.”

“We thank Dave for his leadership and wish him all the best in his future endeavors,” the company said.

During an earnings call Tuesday, Kingsbury addressed the departure. Kingsbury said he spent the past year evaluating the company’s leadership structure to find ways to streamline communication with stores and supply chain, as the company looks to make physical retail locations “a focal point” in its strategy.

“There will be no backfill for this position,” Kingsbury said of Alves’ vacancy. “Stores and supply chain will now report to me with other executive leaders assuming oversight of other functions (such as) real estate, purchasing, risk management and strategy.”

He said Kohl’s is confident that it has “the right leadership team going forward.”

“It’ll give us more speed in terms of doing the things that we want to accomplish, and if we want to get back to positive in 2024, we have to move with a lot of speed,” Kingsbury said. “I just feel that now that I’ve been on the job for a year, I understand what we need as a company, and I decided to execute it.”

Kohl’s Corp. weathers ‘rebuilding’ year

In the company’s earnings report, Kohl’s said its net income fell from $97 million in the third quarter of 2022 to $59 million in the same period this year.

Jill Timm, chief financial officer of Kohl’s, said Tuesday the company’s digital sales were down 16.5 percent in the quarter, while year-to-date store sales are “up slightly” from 2022.

“Stores are incredibly important to our business and have been a key focus of ours this year,” she said. “We are encouraged with the year-to-date store sales.”

Kingsbury said 2023 has been a “rebuilding” year for the company, as Kohl’s works to lay the foundation for 2024, when it hopes to make “more progress.” He also said a decision to eliminate online-only promotions and move toward more uniform prices across the company has hurt the retailer’s digital business.

“A lot of the actions we’ve taken will be behind us as we go into 2024,” he said. “I’m confident about the fact that we are doing well in stores, and I think it’s going to be a good setup for 2024.”