The technology team at Nordstrom got more news on Wednesday about an impending departure, this time from Dan Little, the chief information officer for the Seattle-based retailer, who announced that he will be retiring in the fall.
Little, who took on the role three years ago after serving as chief administrative officer, said in an email to his team that it was always his intent “to spend the next several years continuing to build on the Technology foundation we had in place and then eventually hand over leadership so I could then retire from the company.”
Little applauded successes ranging from upgrading Nordstrom.com to evolving strategies for “delivering amazing customer experiences in our multi-channel environment.”
With the departure of chief technology officer Kumar Srinivasan, Little said that the time is right to take a look at the tech team’s leadership structure and ensure that it is best aligned for future ambitions. He said the company is searching for a new CTO who will have accountability for all aspects of technology at Nordstrom and absorb responsibilities that previously were part of the traditional CIO role. On Jan. 9, the retailer named Geevy Thomas to the exec team position of chief innovation officer.
Nordstrom Co-President Blake Nordstrom also shared the news of Little’s plans in his own company-wide email. He called Little a “valued member” of the executive team and a “trusted partner” who has contributed in many ways to the company.
With several open leadership positions on the tech team, Nordstrom also announced some juggling to create an interim leadership structure until roles are filled. They included:
- Magali Muratore will take on interim leadership of the Merchandising Technology organization in addition to supporting the Data & Services team.
- Travis McElfresh will take on interim leadership of the Digital Technology organization in addition to supporting the Engineering team.
- Steve Brewer will take on interim leadership of the Stores & Payments team.
Read the full text of the emails from Little and Nordstrom below.
Dan Little email:
I wanted to let you know that I’ve shared with the Executive Team my plans to retire from Nordstrom this fall.
When I took on the new role of Chief Information Officer three years ago, it was always my intent to spend the next several years continuing to build on the Technology foundation we had in place and then eventually hand over leadership so I could then retire from the company. In that short period of time, our team has been on a journey and we’ve accomplished so much together, including developing stronger relationships with our business partners and creating a more agile organization with fewer layers. Some more specific highlights have included setting us up for success in Canada, upgradingNordstrom.com, delivering both EMV capability in stores and non-tender loyalty, and overall delivering faster with higher quality and improved reliability. We have also worked very hard over the last year to evolve our operating model, vision and strategies to focus on delivering amazing customer experiences in our multi-channel environment while ensuring we have a scalable technology ecosystem for future growth. I’m proud to have helped play a part in supporting those efforts, alongside all of you.
Now with that foundation in place, I think it makes a lot of sense to begin the transition that I had planned. With Kumar recently leaving the company to move back to India, we have an opportunity to take a look at our leadership structure and ensure it is best aligned with our future ambitions. We are now launching a search for a new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) who will have accountability for all aspects of Technology at Nordstrom. This position will also absorb responsibilities that previously were part of our traditional Chief Information Officer (CIO) role. And though I plan to retire in fall, I will remain on board to help with a smooth transition.
As you all know, we also have a few Technology leadership roles open. As we’re working toward selecting the best candidates for these roles, we are putting an interim leadership structure in place to support various functions:
- Magali Muratorewill take on interim leadership of the Merchandising Technology organization in addition to supporting the Data & Services team
- Travis McElfreshwill take on interim leadership of the Digital Technology organization in addition to supporting the Engineering team
- Steve Brewerwill take on interim leadership of the Stores & Payments team
I’m incredibly proud of the accomplishments and progress we have made as a Technology organization and want to thank you for the work you are doing each day to move us forward. I recognize there has been a lot of change over this past year, which can be challenging, but there is a lot to be excited about as well. Technology is a key priority for Nordstrom and the Executive Team has never been more committed to supporting our future direction. Each of you will continue to play an integral role in our success and I want to take this opportunity to extend my thanks for all of your contributions.
Blake Nordstrom email:
Dan Little has shared with me and our Executive Team his plans to retire next fall. Earlier today he met with his leadership and core team to tell them personally about his decision. As Dan is a valued member of our executive team and Chief Information Officer, I wanted to apprise everyone in the company of this news as well.
Three years ago we asked Dan to narrow his focus as Chief Administrative Officer and devote 100% of his energies toward our company’s technology needs. At that time, we had a number of opportunities, including:
– improving collaboration between business leaders and technology leaders
– updating legacy and architecture platforms
– identifying specific skill sets within technology to support the business
– creating a more agile organization with few layers, better able to serve and respond quickly
– increasing capital spend, prioritized to support the business strategy
All of these goals and many more have been addressed thanks to Dan and the team’s hard work over the past three years. Originally Dan felt this would be roughly a four-year journey that would culminate in a transition to a more technical leader who could support the group as they continue to implement the agreed upon road map. With Kumar Srinivasan’s recent decision to move back to India and in determining how we would address the leadership of Technology going forward, Dan felt it was the right time to share his intention to retire later this year. This enables us to conduct a full search for our new CTO who will bring us the deep technical and strategic experience we’re after to lead technology at Nordstrom.
Dan has been a trusted partner and has contributed in many ways to the company. I want to personally thank him for all his efforts.