Macy's Names eBay Exec as President to Improve E-Commerce Expertise

John Harrington

Macy’s Inc. (NYSE: M), reeling from declining sales at its physical stores, said Monday it had hired Hal Lawton, a senior executive from eBay Inc. (NASDAQ: EBAY), to become president of the chain.

Hal Lawton, 43, is leaving his role as eBay’s senior vice president for North America to take what essentially is the number two post at Cincinnati-based Macy’s. The venerable department store chain is owned by Bloomingdale’s but operates autonomously with its own chief executive officer.

Bringing on Lawton gives the retailer more expertise in e-commerce as sales at Macy’s physical stores flag and competition with e-commerce giants such as Amazon are intensifying.

Lawton will oversee all aspects of the Macy’s brand, taking on responsibility for functions like merchandising, marketing, stores, operations, tech, and consumer insights and analytics.

Previous to his tenure at eBay, Lawton worked at Home Depot, where he helped turn the home-improvement company into an e-commerce juggernaut.

Macy’s also said it was merging its merchandising, planning and private-label functions into a single unit and will slash 100 jobs. Jeff Kantor, a 35-year Macy’s veteran, will lead the merchandising function. He currently serves as chief stores and human resources officer and will report to Lawton.