NEW, the largest women’s leadership organization in the North American retail and consumer goods sector, said Alter became CEO effective June 5. Most recently, she was chief operating officer for shopping center developer General Growth Properties.
“We are thrilled to have an executive of Sarah’s caliber leading NEW,” stated Lisa Walsh of PepsiCo, who serves as vice chair at NEW and led the board’s CEO search committee. “When we started our search, we defined the CEO we needed to transform NEW and the industry we serve. Sarah fits the bill, and then some.”
NEW noted that Alter brings wide experience in the retail and financial arenas. At General Growth Properties, she developed and executed business and consumer marketing strategies for 200 shopping malls and their top retail tenants.
Before joining General Growth, Alter served as vice president at Discover Financial Services, where she led the product strategy for all credit card features, benefits and services, increasing sales and earning the organization a J.D. Power award for its digital experience. Prior to that, she was vice president for digital sales and marketing at Quill.com, where she helped transform the business and boost digital sales.
Alter started her career as marketing comptroller for office products retailer Staples in the United Kingdom.
The Network of Executive Women, Retail, Consumer Goods and Services represents more than 100 corporate partners, 10,000 members, 950 companies and 20 regions in the United States and Canada.
“Sarah will guide us as we expand our services and become a more powerful voice for gender equality and workplace transformation in our industry,” Walsh added. “She has strategic vision, proven experience in the retail, services and technology markets, financial acumen and global experience. Most important, she is savvy about leading people and has a very inclusive and engaging style.”
Alter will be based at NEW’s headquarters in downtown Chicago. “I am so excited to lead NEW during this transformative time,” she commented. “Given my passion for its mission, I cannot think of a more important job than growing NEW. Working with our 10,000 members, 20 regions and more than 100 partner companies, we can help even more women and diverse leaders advance.”