Hudson’s Bay hires new head of tech and digital

Stephen Gold will lead a newly combined team working across the company's retail banners.

Hudson’s Bay Company has added a new C-suite lead for its digital and tech teams, naming Stephen Gold as chief technology and digital operations officer.

Reporting directly to CEO Helena Foulkes, Gold will be responsible for leading the technology and digital strategy across HBC and its banners in North America, which includes Hudson’s Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord & Taylor and Home Outfitters. Externally, his focus will be to align the end-to-end customer experience at the company’s stores through data and digital innovation.

HBC is also aligning its (previously separate) digital operations and technical teams under one “centre of excellence,” which will be led by Gold.

The company has been organizing its different functions into “centres of excellence” over the last several years to increase efficiency and leverage scale as they work across the company. In the case of the newly combined digital and tech team, Gold’s task will be to create a service-oriented and collaborative operating model to deliver greater synergies for the company and its retail banners.

Gold was most recently EVP of technology operations and innovation and chief information officer at U.S. drugstore chain and health care company CVS Health.

Gold succeeds Janet Schalk, who joined HBC as EVP and CIO in 2015 and helped lead the consolidation of the company’s technology systems into a single platform. Gold’s appointment is effective immediately, though Schalk will remain with the company until August 1.

From a sales perspective, digital channels were one of the few bright spots in HBC’s most recent earnings report, with comparable sales rising by 7.7% in its first quarter. In April, the struggling retailer hired Bari Harlam as its new CMO.