Finish Line taps Nordstrom exec to lead merchandising

The Finish Line Inc. has hired a new chief merchandising officer as the Indianapolis-based retailer of athletic apparel strives to improve performance issues.

John Hall, a longtime Nordstrom Inc. executive who most recently served as vice president and corporate merchandiser for Nordstrom Rack Menswear, will join Finish Line in mid-May. His formal title will be executive vice president, divisional president and chief merchandising officer.

Hall spent almost 30 years at Nordstrom, starting as a sales associate in the shoe department and working his way up the corporate ladder in merchandise buying and branding positions, primarily in the footwear division.

“We’re thrilled to have John join Finish Line. He will play a pivotal role as we continue to strengthen consumer engagement and enhance our merchandise offering and brand storytelling,” Finish Line CEO Sam Sato said in written remarks.

Sato succeeded Glenn Lyon as company CEO on Feb. 28. Lyon, who had been CEO since 2008, will continue to serve as executive chairman of the board through Dec. 31 before becoming non-executive chairman.

The change in leadership came after Finish Line lost $32 million in sales in its fiscal third quarter due to supply-chain problems.

To improve operations, Sato is recasting the management team with a series of moves, including the promotion of Melissa Greenwell to chief operating officer and the appointment of former Hudson’s Bay executive AJ Sutera as chief information and technology officer.

Sato also is a former Nordstrom executive and joined Finish Line in March 2007 as executive vice president and chief merchandising officer.

Finish Line shares slipped 5 cents Thursday morning, to $19.70 each. The stock is up about 9 percent since the beginning of the year.


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