Macy's Main Marketing Star Exits

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The CMO plans to end her 32-year company tenure in mid-May.

Macy’s is shopping for a new marketing leader. The department store behemoth announced that its CMO, Martine Reardon, will leave the company May 13 after a 32-year tenure.

“I am extremely proud of the work that I have led in building Macy’s into an international omnichannel brand,” Reardon stated in a press release. “We have established a clear and compelling brand promise rooted in fashion, entertainment, pop culture, value and newness and opened potential new avenues for growth. I will miss my Macy’s family terribly, but I am looking forward to taking time for me now. The marketing organization at Macy’s is incredibly deep and talented, and I am excited for my colleagues to carry on the work we began together.”

In an interview with Direct Marketing News, Reardon, who was an honoree in DMN‘s inaugural Marketing Hall of Femme, said working for Macy’s marketing team was an early dream of hers—one that she made a reality by climbing the corporate ladder. 

According to the press release, Reardon started her Macy’s stint in the special events department of Abraham & Straus (A&S), which later merged with Macy’s East division in 1994 and took on the Macy’s name in 1995. She rose to the title of CMO in February 2012 and headed several marketing initiatives for the retailer’s 730 stores. Not only did she lead the retailer’s digital activities—including Macy’s.com, social, mobile, and digital media—but she also headed its more traditional channels, such as advertising, creative development, public relations, cause and tourism marketing, special events, and media planning. And like many CMOs, she had her finger on the pulse of Macy’s data by steering its consumer insights and data analysis.

In her Marketing Hall of Femme interview, Reardon recalled taking over the retailer’s national marketing after a 2009 company consolidation:

 “I have always taken on challenges that were probably a little bit bigger than what I was ready for, which I think makes you focus so much more and makes you want it so much more because it’s not something that would come so naturally,” she said. “Four years ago, when we consolidated the company to become one Macy’s, I took over the reins for the entire country. That was quite an opportunity and a challenge and probably the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

Macy’s has started its search for Reardon’s successor; however, a statement released by the retailer’s Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren suggests that it will be difficult to fill her shoes.

“It is with deep sadness that we accept Martine’s resignation from Macy’s,” Lundgren said in the press release. “Martine is a very special executive who has come to personify the spirit, energy, and integrity of Macy’s. She has poured her mind, heart, and soul into making Macy’s the industry leader it is today. Martine’s leadership, insight, creativity, and expertise have enabled Macy’s to compete in physical stores and digitally as customer shopping preferences have evolved. Our entire organization will miss Martine. We salute her many accomplishments and wish her the very best in the next chapter of her life and career.”

Reardon isn’t the only retail marketing executive to recently leave her post. Adweek’s AgencySpy reports that Will Setliff is leaving retail giant Kohl’s after serving as EVP of marketing for a little more than two years. 

*Update 4/13/2016: Further clarification regarding the A&S and Macy’s merger was added.

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