Mr. Adams left Home Depot as CMO in October 2007, after 12 months in the top slot, to the surprise of many in the industry. His appointment to Lord & Taylor is also surprising, given that Mr. Adams' resume leans toward multinational marketing giants with big budgets, a far cry from the 47-door domestic retail chain.
Although New York-based Lord & Taylor has received an infusion of cash from its owner, NRDC Equity Partners, to the tune of $500 million over five years, Mr. Adams' budget will pale in comparison to his past CMO stint. At Home Depot, which counts 2,255 locations globally, Mr. Adams had in excess of $500 million to work with annually.
Mr. Adams also has little in the way of experience with fashion or apparel companies, the arena in which Lord & Taylor plays. Instead, he has worked primarily with automotive and package-goods firms including General Motors Corp., where he led the Buick, Pontiac and GMC businesses, as well as Keebler Co., H.J. Heinz, Nabisco and PepsiCo.
"Roger's broad marketing experience will serve us well as we continue to rebrand Lord & Taylor," CEO Jane Elfers said in a statement to Ad Age. "We are thrilled to welcome Roger to the Lord & Taylor family."
Mr. Adams will report directly to Ms. Elfers, who has been largely credited with bringing some of the luster back to the 182-year-old retailer. In August of last year, a sweeping, $10 million rebranding campaign, meant to modernize the department store, was introduced. It ran throughout the fall and holiday seasons and was followed by a similarly styled campaign this spring. David Lipman, chairman of Lipman, created both the rebranding campaign and this spring's campaign.