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Macy's snags eBay exec, cuts 100 jobs amid management shake-up

  • Macy's has hired Hal Lawton, eBay's senior vice president of North America.
  • The retailer will cut 100 jobs as it consolidates three departments into one.
  • The company's stock has fallen more than 45 percent this year.

Macy's has snagged an eBay executive as it shakes up its management and cuts 100 jobs in an effort to reignite slumping sales at the department store chain.

Hal Lawton, senior vice president of North America at eBay, will join Macy's on Sept. 8 as president. The company is expanding its customer insights and data analytics to include inventory replenishment and pricing capabilities.

Both moves suggest Macy's is trying to bulk up its online efforts.

"Hal Lawton has deep expertise at the intersection of retail and technology, a diverse set of business experiences that give him a unique perspective, and a track record of successfully driving a change agenda at scale," Macy's CEO Jeff Gennette said in a statement. "I'm thrilled that he has chosen to join Macy's."

Macy's has consolidated its merchandising, planning and private-label functions into a single department, leading to the 100 job cuts. The management changes were aimed at streamlining decision-making so the department store chain can be more nimble in reacting to change.

"Macy's has long been known for innovation and excellence in merchandising," Gennette said. "The changes we are making today maintain our core merchandising skills while massively simplifying our structure and processes for greater speed and flexibility. We are also further strengthening our consumer insights and data analytics capabilities so we can make better decisions faster, balancing the art and science of retail."

The company said the restructuring will result in one-time costs of about $20 million to $25 million and save it about $30 million per year. Some of the money will be used to reinvest in the business.

Macy's has suffered from less foot traffic at malls, which many other retailers have also experienced. Last August, the company announced it would close 100 stores. Macy's stock has plummeted more than 45 percent this year.

Gennette has tried to change that since taking over in March. He has expressed a desire to take on discount retailer T.J. Maxx with Macy's off-brand price offering, Macy's Backstage.