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Focus Areas

C-Level Management, Digital & Business Transformation

Jaap Van Riel

Jaap van Riel is the Chief Technology Officer at KnitWell Group, a PE owned holding company for iconic American apparel brands Ann Taylor, Chico’s, Haven Well Within, Lane Bryant, LOFT, Soma, Talbots, WHBM (White House Black Market). KnitWell¬†operates online and in ~3000 stores, and generates over $6 billion in annual sales. In his role Jaap leads all aspects of Technology. He drives the Digital & Data Transformation and Technology Innovation agenda across all brands and channels.

In December 2020, Jaap was part of the executive team responsible for restructuring the remaining brands of Ascena Retail Group, acquired by Sycamore Partners during the bankruptcy process. Since that time, the team led the brands to double-digit year-over-year EBITDA growth, while transforming the business to financial health and stability. These brands, together with Talbots and Haven Well Within, where Jaap was the Chief Information Officer since 2018, became one company in August 2023 under the name KnitWell Group. In 2024 KnitWell Group acquired Chico’s FAS (Chico’s, Soma, White House Black Market).

Prior, Jaap led the global business transformation at Tiffany & Co, delivering Omni Channel solutions for Tiffany customers across the world, as well as modernizing the Tiffany global technology landscape. Jaap held various other IT Leadership and Transformation roles at Avon and Wrigley.

Jaap has extensive international experience. He lived and worked in 6 different countries and led global teams across 5 continents. Earlier in his career Jaap worked at Deloitte Consulting both in Europe and the United States.

Jaap holds an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management, as well as a BSc in Chemical Engineering from The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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