Crate & Barrel formally appoints Neela Montgomery CEO – Consumer News

on May5

4 May 2017 | 4:24 pm

Three weeks after Crate & Barrel dumped CEO Doug Diemoz, the retailer has officially appointed Neela Montgomery its new chief.

At the time of Diemoz’s departure, Crate said that Montgomery, most recently chair of the board of Otto Group, the German conglomerate that owns Northbrook-based Crate, would take over most of his duties.

Montgomery, 42, joined Otto Group in November 2014. She oversaw the company’s multichannel retail strategy, which spans nearly 30 mostly European retail brands, including Bonprix and Sportscheck, a big German sporting goods company.

Before joining Otto, Montgomery spent 12 years at Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer, where she held a variety of leadership roles, including director of the U.K. division’s e-commerce and U.K. general merchandise director. Born in Britain, she holds a bachelor’s degree from Oxford University and an MBA from INSEAD having studied in France and Singapore.

Speaking to German Retail Blog in 2015, Montgomery described her efforts to reinvigorate Crate & Barrel’s business, which had frustrated Otto executives with its inability to adapt to a rapidly changing retail environment.

“We changed the promotional strategy and went to a much lower promotional cadence, which helped the business,” Montgomery said. She added that previous leadership, under former CEO Sascha Bopp and President Marta Calle, tried too hard to modernize the brand, which alienated old customers more quickly than it earned new ones. “We needed a course correction, but we still need to innovate and modernize more,” she continued. “That was the challenge I gave to the new CEO,” referring to Diemoz.

Now he’s goneā€”and Montgomery must execute that mandate herself.



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