Johnson & Johnson executive Meghan Davis has replaced Thinx Chief Executive Officer Maria Molland, the period underwear brand said Tuesday. Molland, who is leaving to spend more time with her children, will stay on until June 30, according to a company press release.
Davis' leadership at Johnson & Johnson included consumer and beauty marketing in North America and Europe. During the pandemic her team delivered strong sales, market share and profitability, per the release. In Europe, she launched more than 20 products in under four years and revitalized the baby toiletries portfolio.
In a statement, Thinx board chair Alison Lewis indicated that the brand is chasing growth. The shift follows Kimberly-Clark’s February acquisition of a majority stake in the brand, after the consumer product giant's initial investment in 2019.
In the past few years, Thinx has made several moves in an effort to grow beyond its early DTC roots. But its best chance to reach scale may be joining Huggies, Kleenex and Kotex as a Kimberly-Clark brand, under a chief executive with consumer product expertise.
"We are thrilled to bring in a leader of Meghan's caliber and experience to oversee this business," Lewis said. "Her insights and data-driven approach to brand building will help us continue to develop innovative solutions based on consumer needs and unlock the next phase of growth for Thinx."
Thinx has inked wholesale partnerships with Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Target and others; expanded its assortment beyond resusable period underwear to include activewear; and introduced more inclusive sizing.
The wholesale play may be the most important, according to recent research from BMO Capital Markets. Those analysts found that the purported advantages of selling directly to consumers — maintaining control of the brand, cutting out the retailer middleman — don't adequately replace the advantages of selling in volume via wholesale.
Partnering with retailers fosters growth not just through volume, however, but also, surprisingly, often via healthier margins, according to BMO Managing Director Simeon Siegel.
As its sales volumes rise, Thinx will presumably benefit from Kimberly-Clark's established scale throughout the supply chain. Meanwhile, the legacy player gains Thinx's expertise, data and branding.