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Forever 21 appoints former H&M executive as new CEO

By Huw Hughes

Feb 26, 2020

Management

Authentic Brands Group (ABG) has announced the appointment of former H&M executive Daniel Kulle as the new CEO of Forever 21.

The news comes after ABG, along with Simon Property Group and Brookfield Property Group, acquired the embattled LA-based fast-fashion chain earlier this month after it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September.

Kulle has over 20 years of experience at Swedish retail giant H&M, where he most recently worked as a strategic advisor to former CEO Karl-Johan Persson and as a steering group member for three new digital startups within the H&M Group.

At the retailer, Kulle was credited for expanding its bricks-and-motor and ecommerce presence in existing and new markets across North America. He also oversaw the opening of 600 stores and helped develop integrated ecommerce platforms in the US, Canada, and Mexico. Under his leadership, H&M North American sales quadrupled to 4 dollars annually.

Forever 21 gets new CEO amid turnaround

ABG said Kulle will help modernize Forever 21's content and social media strategies, work with the brand’s leadership to evolve its sustainability initiatives, and re-energize core product categories.

The brand management company said in a statement: “Under Kulle’s leadership, Forever 21 is expected to sharpen its focus on seamless retailing, strengthening its loyalty program, and elevating the in-store journey through unique experiences such as pop-up events and unexpected brand collaborations that continuously surprise and delight customers. Kulle will also spearhead developing a purpose-driven ethos for Forever 21 that will serve as bedrock for all aspects of the business.”

Commenting on his appointment in a statement, Kulle said: “Forever 21 enjoys strong brand awareness and affinity, a clear consumer set, and quick-to-market capabilities, allowing the brand to be nimble and leverage key trends and create strong value for its customers. The strong ownership structure, which combines ABG’s marketing prowess with Simon and Brookfield’s retail real estate expertise, creates a foundation for long-term growth.”

Jamie Salter, founder, chairman, and CEO of ABG said: “Daniel is a well-respected, progressive fashion executive, and we are thrilled to welcome him to the team.”

Photo courtesy of Authentic Brands Group

AUTHENTIC BRANDS GROUP
Daniel Kulle
Forever 21