Kohl’s Names Michelle Gass as Chief Customer Officer

Kohl’s Corp. (KSS), the third-largest U.S. department store chain, named a longtime Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) executive to the newly-created role of chief customer officer, in charge of marketing and e-commerce.

Michelle Gass will start next month and report to chairman and chief executive officer Kevin Mansell, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin-based Kohl’s said today in a statement.

Gass leaves a 16-year career at Starbucks, where she most recently headed its Europe, Middle East and Africa unit until being named this month to work with CEO Howard Schultz at the company’s Seattle headquarters as part of a senior leadership team. She led the introduction of Frappuccino drinks and VIA instant coffee and oversaw the remake of the company’s Seattle’s Best Coffee brand.

Profit at Kohl’s fell 16 percent last year amid post-holiday markdowns. Kohl’s operates 1,155 stores in 49 states, selling clothing and home goods.

Kohl’s fell 0.3 percent to $52.17 at 9:31 a.m. in New York. The shares had gained 22 percent this year through yesterday compared with a 17 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lauren Coleman-Lochner in New York at llochner@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at rajello@bloomberg.net

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