HBC hires digital and data expert to lead the brand

The Hudson’s Bay Company, a brand rooted in the earliest days of the Canadian fur trade, has a new marketing leader who recently started a company that creates virtual humans.

Meghan Nameth was announced as the new senior vice-president of marketing this week. She joins from PwC Canada’s One Analytics practice, where she helped businesses become data-driven organizations.

She’s also the co-founder of a company called iVirtual Technologies, which produces “photo-realistic, anatomically-accurate” digital avatars of people (see the video below).

While her professional roots are in CPG, there’s not a lot of the home or fashion retail experience historically associated with department stores brands on her CV. Then again, Hudson’s Bay needs to become something much more than a traditional retailer.

Executive chairman Richard Baker is trying to take the struggling company private to undertake a turnaround effort free of investor interference. The offer from Baker’s group late last month cited headwinds and a deteriorating retail environment as reasons for the need to reinvest in the business. “The department store and specialty retail competitive landscape continues to evolve rapidly and the Company will be required to invest substantial capital and resources to remain relevant to its customers and successfully compete.”

Nameth seems well equipped to help reinvent the brand for a digital age. At the top of the release announcing her hiring, HBC describes her as a “data-driven executive with a track record of brand building and digital transformation.” Nameth replaces Patrick Dickinson, who’d worked on the HBC brand for 16 years.

Nameth will oversee HBC’s brand, marketing and public relations including strategy, with a focus on driving sales across all channels.

“As the company works to elevate the merchandise, service model and digital experience, there is a tremendous opportunity to use data-driven insights to better understand what Canadians love and expect from Hudson’s Bay,” said Nameth in a release. “In turn, we can create meaningful, relevant marketing campaigns that have real impact with consumers.”

Hudson’s Bay declined a request for an interview.

Before joining PwC, Nameth spent several years at TD, where her final role was vice-president, North America marketing analytics and insights. Before that, she spent most of her career in consumer goods marketing, spending three years as marketing director chocolate for Mars, and more than 10 years at P&G, rising to global skin care brand manager.

“Meghan’s transformational leadership and strategic marketing expertise will be instrumental to Hudson’s Bay as we continue to invest in evolving improving the shopping experience for our customers today and in the future,” said Kerry Mader, executive vice-president, chief customer officer, in the release. “As we drive performance at Hudson’s Bay, Meghan’s brand-building experience will be an essential asset to the company and I am thrilled to welcome her to the team.”


David Brown