Corner Office Shifts: Philips Canada, IKEA, Cougar Shoes

A round-up of senior-level executive changes you may have missed.
Corner Office

Philips Canada finds its first female president and CEO in Britta Lesaux

After only a year in the role, Jeffrey H. Barnes is set to retire as president and CEO of health technology co. Philips Canada.

In his place, Britta Lesaux will assume the position, becoming Philips Canada’s first-ever female in the executive role.

Lesaux will report to Vitor Rocha, the company’s CEO of North America, and joins from 3M Canada where she led the strategy and operations for its Health Care Business Group as an executive director.

Originally from Montreal, Lesaux arrives at Philips with extensive knowledge of the Canadian healthcare system and serves on the Board of Directors at Medtech Canada, a national association representing Canada’s innovative medical technology industry. In a release announcing her appointment, Rocha added that Lesaux will work with the Canadian team to follow through on the brand’s long-term strategic partnerships and bring new health tech solutions to the local market.

IKEA president Michael Ward adds sustainability to his remit

IKEA Canada has been tackling sustainability for several decades, but it’s been the last few years that have seen the retailer turn the public’s eye to its efforts.

In yet another move to highlight the brand’s eco focus and commitments, Michael Ward has added chief sustainability officer (CSO) to his current president title.

The expanded dual role means Ward will take on a “greater leadership toward achieving IKEA’s People & Planet Positive ambitions,” said IKEA in an email to strategy. The “integrated” role is meant to help reinforce the retailer’s position that “sustainable action is both good for business and for the world.”

The role of CSO will exist in all 30 Ingka Group (IKEA’s parent company) countries globally.

Cougar Shoes names Jackie Charest as VP of marketing

As part of its plans to expand further into both Canadian and U.S. markets, Cougar Shoes has named Jackie Charest has its VP of marketing.

The former Holts Renfrew VP of marketing and media relations brings three decades worth of experience in marketing, retail and brand development to the shoe brand. She previously led Holts’ vendor marketing team, brand strategy, communication, media buying, events and partnerships.

At Cougar, she is mandated to help evolve the company’s brand positioning to be more customer-focused, as well as develop forward-thinking retail partnerships and programs.