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Loblaw fills top digital role from within

Grocery company promotes former Silicon Valley executive to lead its online efforts

herman-paek

Loblaw has put Herman Paek in charge of its digital strategy following the departure of Jeremy Pee to iconic British retailer Marks & Spencer.

“Jeremy has been a strong leader at Loblaw for almost a decade, helping build an expert and committed digital team,” said Loblaw spokesperson Catherine Thomas in a statement to Canadian Grocer. “For most of that time, Herman Paek has been right by his side.”

Before joining Loblaw in 2012, Paek spent time in Silicon Valley co-founding two startups and before that worked at AOL for three years.

Loblaw has ramped up its digital and e-commerce efforts in the past couple of years as competition increases from giants such as Amazon-Whole Foods and Walmart at the same time customers are doing more shopping online. Loblaw has responded with more delivery, click and collect, and pick up options and a concerted effort to provide more personalized customer experiences based on data generated from the company’s massive PC Optimum Loyalty program.

Unlike Loblaw’s head office, which is in Brampton, Ont., Loblaw put its digitial team in one of Toronto’s dynamic creative and digital communities, Liberty Village, and “operates like a start-up with extensive resources,” according to the Loblaw Digital website. “We are an entrepreneurial, fast-paced, collaborative, and fun team working to transform the way Canadians engage with their everyday lives.”

“[A]s Herman takes on the leadership of Loblaw Digital, it will be a natural continuation of all of the good things underway and those to come on our journey to become Canada’s leading digital retailer,” said Thomas.

According to a M&S press release, Pee will fill the role of chief digital and data officer tasked with overseeing the company’s digital strategy and “developing and embedding a modern digital mindset and culture across the business.”

“Jeremy is an excellent addition to M&S. He has first class experience of leading and executing retail digital transformation and growing a portfolio of e-commerce business,” said Steve Rowe, M&S CEO.

“Under his leadership, [Loblaw] launched a large online business and established a customer-driven culture focused on delivering great ecommerce experiences,” said the M&S release. “As we seek to become a digital first retailer, grow market share and change our digital behaviours, mindsets and culture, he is the right leader to deliver these changes and make M&S fit for the digital age.”

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