PROFILE

Mohamed Amer

Independent Board Member, Investor and Startup Advisor

Living in Southern California, Mohamed is keen on applying his corporate and entrepreneurial executive leadership across strategy, technology, and communications in the service of progressive boards of directors, c-suites, and startup companies.

Building teams and driving results spanning multiple industry sectors and domains, Mohamed brings successful experience in public and private sectors across mission-critical operational, supply chain, strategy, communications, and technology roles.  He is a highly trusted coach and advisor for senior executives and entrepreneurs in the technology and consumer-facing industries.

During his tenure at SAP, Mohamed held several senior roles that included leading the solution footprint, M&A, and go-to-market strategy for the global grocery business, and developing the future supply chain product area for retail. While leading the Retail Business Unit in the Americas, he supported business development, key customer implementations, and strategic relationships as well as managing key user groups and executive customer councils. He also led internal and external communication roles across multiple sectors and most recently having responsibility for executive communications in SAP’s Office of the Co-Presidents.

Prior to SAP, Mohamed was co-founder and President of NEXstep, an Internet supply chain software startup which was acquired by Viewlocity.  He also held leadership positions in the retail management consultancy, Kurt Salmon Associates (acquired by Accenture) with extensive Retail and CPG client engagements as well as general management roles in the office products industry at Boise Cascade and Buhrmann-Tetterode.

Mohamed held a commission with the United States Navy (Lieutenant Commander – naval aviation and naval intelligence). Mohamed holds a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University; in addition, he has earned an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and an M.A. in National Security Affairs at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.

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  • Posted on: 06/21/2021

    How should (and shouldn’t) retailers honor Juneteenth?

    Reflection and education are the proper first steps. Retailers and brands are woven tightly in customer lifestyle and social culture. They need to recognize that Juneteenth is not just Black history, but American history. Before attempting to transform the previously unrecognized Juneteenth into a sales event, retailers and brands must earn that right. Are there tangible actions and progress resulting from their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts? Are they using this moment to understand and amplify the experiences of Black Americans? Are they creating new conversations that acknowledge the rich complexity of our identities? It’s about being genuine and authentic instead of making a one-off or token gestures to drive sales.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2021

    Will Americans invite Best Buy into their backyards?

    Think of this as Best Buy extending the socialization and entertainment function of the traditional living or family room to the backyard. Outdoor construction projects and sales of patio furniture have extended the living spaces beyond the four walls. Best Buy is making an opportunistic play on a strong consumer lifestyle trend.
  • Posted on: 06/18/2021

    Retailers must centralize their data to thrive

    Amazon Web Services S3 and Microsoft Azure Data Lake Storage have blurred the centralized versus decentralizing data question. However there is no one size fits all solution. Data will continue to be centralized and decentralized based on the use cases. The data explosion in mobile retailing, 5G networks, and the Internet of Things (IoT) will increase the need to get more analysis and decisions at the edge, even for machine learning that is typically centralized. Federated data techniques for analytics and AI will also continue to bring value in situations where data cannot be centralized. A corollary question here is how you should organize your analytics team- centralized, decentralized, or hybrid.
  • Posted on: 06/10/2021

    GameStop’s digital transformation to be led by former Amazonians

    GameStop’s digital transformation is a complete business model pivot from being a video game retailer to becoming a technology innovator and leader. The company’s overhaul of the board and c-suite was the foundational step to reinvent the company. So, don’t look here for retailing models as a guide; instead, consider fundamental technology moves that redefine retailing and the future of the gaming experience. As an example, GameStop has quietly been building a platform for non-fungible tokens (NFT) on Ethereum that caters to players, creators, and collectors.
  • Posted on: 06/04/2021

    Would a skyscraper on top of Macy’s NYC flagship reach in the right direction?

    The skyscraper concept is a tremendous long-term play that makes sense, if and only if Macy’s is simultaneously able to invest in the core company activity of merchandising as it reinvents the department store into viability and relevance. Otherwise, the downward spiral will engulf the company as it entertains balance sheet acrobatics. Real estate will not save retailing but can help if the long-term strategy and investments target core and differentiating functions.
  • Posted on: 06/03/2021

    Have flagships become obsolete?

    Flagship stores are the ultimate expression of the brand. They are a marketing investment designed to wow customers with the best the brand offers from the in-store experience. That includes assortment uniqueness, special collections, visuals, signage, and services. You look at flagships first as brand enhancers and force multipliers and not as profit centers. The pandemic was a once-in-a-lifetime event rather than the new (ab)normal. Flag store location selection is critical and needs to align with and enrich the brand proposition. Gibson and Nashville form a natural pairing, so do fashion and Manhattan. Regional flagship stores make sense with robust research and execution. In the land of omnichannel, there is an even greater need for well-designed, highly experiential flagship stores.
  • Posted on: 06/02/2021

    Do consumers have a gender preference when it comes to brand names?

    If you were launching a new brand, wouldn’t you want to understand the linguistic implications on the perceived brand qualities? This research takes existing stereotypes in cultural gender biases as a given. The authors investigate the linguistic aspects of gender associations with desirable brand qualities and outcomes. It’s important to note that this research is not normative in the sense of stating what ought to be (eliminating damaging stereotypes); rather, they explore taking advantage of cultural biases. The research shortcomings include any non-critical application in cross-cultural and non-English speaking populations. Despite those limitations, any new brand naming exercise that overlooks the linguistic effect ignores a substantial body of evidence on brand performance. For those interested in changing the cultural status quo, they’d need to look into critical linguistics, not the Journal of Marketing.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2021

    Stores scramble as Nike cuts wholesale accounts

    Spot on from the brand’s perspective and how technology is changing the levers for value creation.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2021

    Will other retailers follow Costco and bring back food sampling?

    Yes, without a doubt! Getting back to normal requires taking a few baby steps but, all of a sudden, we’ll bypass any interim measures and we’ll be running full speed ahead. Change is not linear; it starts slowly, then happens all at once.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2021

    Stores scramble as Nike cuts wholesale accounts

    Nike is the category leader and, in the long term, the move to rationalize its wholesale accounts is a margin improvement play. When a store needs to replace 5 percent to 10 percent of its revenue, this becomes an opportunity for competing brands to step in and increase their wholesale market share. However even Adidas and Under Armour are undergoing similar rationalization. These actions place more significant pressure on retail chains to improve their stores, deliver on connected commerce experience, and invest in advanced analytics impacting their customers. Big brands' wholesale account rationalization will result in a retail shakeout.
  • Posted on: 06/01/2021

    Best Buy puts multi-taskers to work

    Best Buy's strategy is designed around melting down traditional silos so that organizational design and functional roles are better aligned with the changing operational reality formed by consumer behavior, which in turn is made possible by the massive consumer adoption of advanced technologies. Organizations that don't have the mindset to explore new organizational designs and are prepared to experiment with cross-boundary roles will fade away. It's not only about adapting to changes in the business environment but doing so at a commensurate or faster pace. The longer a company waits to make changes, the wider the gap and the greater the necessary magnitude of change required to catch up. At some point, the early inertia will keep you from ever getting back into the game without painful internal disruptions up to and including flirting with bankruptcy. Best Buy's board and C-suite have aligned on leading and creating their future rather than adopting a reactive strategy. Bravo!
  • Posted on: 05/28/2021

    Retailers and brands are using the wrong KPIs to make digital and social media buys

    Yes! CPM says nothing more than impressions and only gross impressions at best. Meaningless for any level engagement or value derived. There’s no way to calculate ROAS from CPM.
  • Posted on: 05/28/2021

    Retailers and brands are using the wrong KPIs to make digital and social media buys

    So true! It reminds me of the century-old anecdote of a drunk guy looking for his keys under a streetlight. A policeman joins him in the search, and after a while, asks the man if he’s sure he lost them there. The drunk responds that no, he lost them in the park but that the light is better here.
  • Posted on: 05/27/2021

    Will Walmart and Gap be good partners or strange bedfellows?

    Not so much a head-scratcher, more like I didn’t see this coming! Gap built its brand on sophisticated segment differentiation in the 1970s with high-quality casual wear moderately priced. The past decade has not been kind to the company, and over the next two years, there will be far fewer physical stores in the U.S. and an emphasis on partnerships and franchise models in Europe. In their Power Plan 2023, Old Navy and Athleta will dominate the physical store count, with an off-mall bias. In search of new growth opportunities, Gap has identified an attractive category and believes it can extend its timeless lifestyle brand to the home. As a new entrant playing catch-up in the high-growth home space requires bold moves and the exclusive deal with Walmart provides that for the Gap. For Walmart, they can add immediate lifestyle fashion credibility and exclusively to their home assortment.
  • Posted on: 05/21/2021

    Will Target and Walmart top 2020’s record results in 2021?

    2020’s consumer demand met a skewed available supply of physical stores and abundant online options, especially in the second and third quarters. 2021 brings a more expansive, if not fully normalized, supply of physical stores and continued popularity of online purchases. Matching 2020’s record results by the major players, such as Walmart and Target, will be difficult. However make no mistake that these players’ gained market share will require creativity and substantial effort to recapture by the rest.

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