President-elect Donald Trump (I threw up a little just now writing that) has named his pick for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. He’s selected Republican Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley. Haley is the first woman Trump has selected for his administration.
Haley’s also the first minority Trump has selected: She’s of Indian descent, and her parents are Sikh.
Haley has served two terms as governor of South Carolina, and is known for advocating removing the Confederate flag from South Carolina’s State Capitol grounds.
She is the first woman governor of South Carolina, as well as the first minority governor of the state.
According to CNN, “Haley will keep serving as governor until the Senate confirms her nomination.”
Big news from a major corporation: Conglomerate General Electric named Beth Comstock a new Vice Chair. She oversees marketing for the company, becoming chief marketing officer in 2003. Oh yeah, she’s the first woman to hold the executive position (no big!). She joins three other men as her fellow vice chairs.
Comstock’s official title is Vice Chair of Business Innovations (pretty cool, huh?). Per “Fast Company,” here’s what the Business Innovations unit actually is and does:
[It] accelerates new business and helps established commercial ventures transition into GE’s technology universe. The Business Innovations arm houses GE Lighting, GE Ventures & Licensing, software commercialization and corporate marketing, sales, and communications.
Comstock is credited with helping GE focus on the future, in terms of the “industrial internet.” The concept marries data analysis with GE’s traditional, industrial products. CEO Jeff Immelt has called her “a catalyst for digital innovation and growth.”
I can’t wait to see how she’ll evolve GE into the future.
‘A&F Quarterly’ Spring Break Issue 2001 (Kline Books)
Happy Friday! If you’re in your mid-20s or older, you probably remember (and hell, wore) some Abercrombie & Fitch (A&F) back in the day. The stylishly distressed, yet massively overpriced, clothes were a status signifier back in middle and high school, when everyone wanted to be part of the cool crowd (which was comprised solely of all-American, apple-cheeked near-Aryans). And of course, who can forget those sex-drenched ads and catalogs?
The A&F of yore will now be changing that particular aspect. According to “The Washington Post,” the chain will no longer hire “models” (their term for sales associates) based on “body type or physical attractiveness.” They’ll also phase out the “sexualized marketing” (suggestive ads, shirtless models at storefront openings) by July.
This all comes as A&F tries to revamp its image, and project a more inclusive one. Former CEO Mike Jeffries was known for promoting the brand as exclusionary to everyone but his coveted “cool crowds,” and didn’t offer larger sizes. He stepped down from his post last December. The move came amid reports that the retailer’s shares have decreased 39% over the past year, and profits shrunk 5%+ last year.
It’ll be interesting to see if A&F can actually pull off this drastic brand reinvention, and if consumers will respond to it.