The NPD Group Names New Leadership in Retail and Softlines Groups

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Rob Hill Joins NPD; Joanne Sackett and Diane Nicholson Take On New Roles

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The NPD Group, a global provider of information and advisory services, today announced Rob Hill has joined the company as EVP, U.S. Retail Business Group. Hill will replace Joanne Sackett, who will become President, Softlines. Diane Nicholson, formerly Softlines President, will become Chief of Staff for NPD CEO Karyn Schoenbart.

As head of NPD’s U.S. Retail Business Group, Rob Hill will oversee retail relations for nearly 400 retailer partners spanning the 20+ industries tracked by NPD. Prior to joining NPD, he was Executive Vice President of Nielsen’s Retail Services Group, where he played a key role in designing and deploying data sharing and joint analytic and collaboration programs between retailers and manufacturers, with emphasis on marketing effectiveness, price, promotion, and assortment strategies. He will report to Don Unser, Retail President.

Joanne Sackett will lead NPD’s Softlines Sector, which includes the firm’s Practice Areas for Apparel, Beauty, Fashion Footwear, Accessories, and Sports. In addition to her 13 years of leadership in NPD’s Retail Business Group, Sackett has extensive experience in the beauty industry. Before joining NPD, she was head of sales for Bliss, managing total U.S. retail and wholesale distribution. Before that she was with Orlane as head of sales and client development. In her new position, she will report to Tim Bush, Group President, Americas Commercial Business.

As Chief of Staff for NPD CEO Karyn Schoenbart, Diane Nicholson will work closely with Schoenbart to assist in advancing the company’s key initiatives across a broad range of industries and projects. Nicholson joined NPD in 1997, holding a series of senior management positions, from launching NPD’s first footwear tracking service in 1997 to building up the beauty business to overseeing the full Softlines portfolio.

About The NPD Group, Inc.
NPD is the leading global provider of market information and business solutions covering brick-and-mortar, e-commerce, and emerging channels in more than 20 industries. We combine our unique data assets with analytic solutions to help our clients measure performance, predict trends, and improve results, advising them to help drive successful growth. Practice areas include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, books, consumer electronics, e-commerce, entertainment, fashion accessories, food consumption, foodservice, footwear, home, juvenile products, mobile, office supplies, retail, sports, technology, toys, travel retail, games, and watches / jewelry. For more information, visit and Follow us on Twitter: @npdgroup.

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