Mohamed Amer, PhD

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. Mohamed brings a unique combination of business and cross-cultural capabilities to impact policy, governance, strategy, and outcomes for organizations in multiple industry sectors and domains. 

Mohamed is a proven strategic leader, mentor, and communicator with executive, board, entrepreneurial, and operational experience across the private and public sectors. He combines unique skills as a decorated aviator and military intelligence officer, a distinguished corporate executive at Germany’s SAP, and a startup co-founder with a successful M&A exit. He has a track record in identifying, formulating, and executing product portfolio strategy, go-to-market, strategic communications, and building programs that identify and align opportunities to aggressive growth trajectories. Mohamed 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 and managed strategic user groups and executive customer councils. He also led internal and external communication roles across multiple sectors and had responsibility for executive communications in SAP’s Office of the Co-Presidents.

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

As a Naval Flight Officer and airborne Mission Commander in the U.S. Navy, Mohamed led national airborne SIGINT missions in several theatres of operations, including areas of conflict. As an intelligence officer, he coordinated intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination across multiple intelligence organizations (DIA, CIA, NSA) and allied countries. At the Pentagon, Mohamed represented the Office of the Director of Naval Intelligence on Capitol Hill. He participated in House and Senate Committee hearings on Persian Gulf mining incidents and delivered one-on-one briefings to the late Honorable Senator John W. Warner of Virginia. 

Mohamed holds a Ph.D. and M.A. in Human and Organizational Systems from Fielding Graduate University. 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.

  • Posted on: 01/09/2023

    Is ‘quiet hiring’ the next big thing in labor?

    Some folks are trying too hard to create new buzzword bingo terms. Nothing new here; keep moving.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2023

    Stitch Fix’s woes reflect a broader subscription box problem

    Just like retail has been historically overstored in the US, by the end of 2021, there were five retail subscriptions for the average US consumer compared to two subscriptions in 2020. Layered on this fatigue is that the novelty of Stitch Fix’s boxes is wearing off. While the personalized, curated business model is sound, the combination of data algorithms and stylists that create customer relationships has run into rough waters that alienated the human element of the equation. Customer acquisition costs are still high, and the company has introduced initiatives to keep current customers more engaged. However, for the average consumer intent on reducing her wardrobe budget, Stitch Fix will be one of the casualties.
  • Posted on: 01/09/2023

    Is now the time for retailers to double down on cloud investments?

    By the end of last summer and early fall, retailers went into overdrive in expense controls and even revisiting and reprioritizing their investments in growth initiatives. Cloud investments impact future margins and fall in both categories: reducing costs and enabling future growth. With the higher and potentially sticky cost of capital, the new hurdle rates make ROI more challenging. Retailers must project future demand amid economic uncertainty and Fed policy determined to curb consumer spending. So, while logic and experience present an opportunity to invest in more cloud capabilities (as Dave Bruno called it, “cloud or bust”), retailers must manage their working capital and protect their balance sheet in 2023. Deep-pocketed cloud providers must structure the right “deals” to help those retailers overcome their legitimate concerns.
  • Posted on: 01/03/2023

    Can a hospitality bigwig bring new life to Under Armour?

    In addition to her deep digital transformation expertise, Ms. Linnartz will bring a fresh perspective and a strong execution discipline to Under Armour. The company's distribution and product challenges are known, but the biggest hurdle Ms. Linnartz will have to overcome is moving Under Armour beyond its linked identity with Mr. Plank. As founder and long-time CEO, he has provided passion and vision since its founding, which fell short in the past five years. The partnership dynamics between the two executives will determine the future success or failure of Ms. Linnartz at Under Armour.
  • Posted on: 12/29/2022

    If DTC is broken, is CTC the fix?

    Yup. As they say, move along, nothing to see here.
  • Posted on: 12/29/2022

    Should Ames be making a comeback?

    A comeback six years in the planning? This Ames concept is a real head-scratcher. The number of stores planned is sufficiently small to test this high-risk venture with no cost advantage or differentiated value proposition in an environment with a high cost of capital and demand uncertainty. There may be a nostalgic factor, but that won’t fuel business growth.
  • Posted on: 12/29/2022

    The winner of the 2022 RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge is…

    My top pick, Lidl's ad’s play on the Big Lebowski, didn’t make the official final cut. So my vote goes to Etsy with a close second to Kroger.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2022

    Is ‘Total Home’ a strategy that Lowe’s can build on?

    Color me a skeptic. Yes, Lowe’s is doing a good job executing in the stores. However focusing on five areas dilutes the supposed focus. The claimed traction on the pro segment has to be compared with Home Depot, which has a solid hold on that crucial segment. Optimism that 2023 will be stronger than 2022 may be justified, but let’s revisit by April next year.
  • Posted on: 12/14/2022

    Macy’s is ‘speechless’ and Wegmans says ‘the more we get together, the happier we will be’

    Our subconscious notices details that only come out when we critique intentionally. Even under a minute long, these are stories designed to connect, convey meaning, and elicit actions. Macy’s did it beautifully, while Wegmans focused on the son and his elderly neighbor. His family remains outside the plot and is only used to introduce Wegmans' food, seemingly disconnected from his world. Macy’s is the winner!
  • Posted on: 12/14/2022

    Macy’s is ‘speechless’ and Wegmans says ‘the more we get together, the happier we will be’

    Georganne, you should do this because it’s a commercial!
  • Posted on: 12/12/2022

    Will Amazon’s customers go for its pay-for-data scheme?

    Some Amazon customers might, but most won’t. The optics of this $2 per month Amazon offer are awful. On a more practical level, I question the value of the data based on the $2 self-selection.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2022

    Aldi UK vs. Lidl (Germany) match up in the RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge

    Aldi's UK spot was a clever recreation of Home Alone from a unique perspective. For their intended audience, the spot ties nicely with Aldi's Carrot Family characters and toys. Lidl's advert was even more clever as it relied less on the main storyline of the Big Lebowski, but leveraged the character and charm of the Dude, who abides by going with the flow while preparing the holiday meal for a large family gathering. Lionel Ritchie's "Easy" plays in the background to emphasize how simple it is to prepare a large meal with Lidl's help. Big thumbs up for Lidl and the Dude.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2022

    Is online grocery shopping a guy thing?

    These surveys that focus on buying behavior by gender tend to overlook (not control for) other variables, such as available discretionary time, among others. The study results capture headlines but offer little actionable insight for retailers.
  • Posted on: 12/06/2022

    Do DoorDash layoffs signal tough times ahead for same-day delivery services?

    A comparison of the all-in price (various fees and tips) of a meal at McDonald’s versus getting it delivered via delivery service like DoorDash is telling. A near 100 percent differential over dining-in price yet remaining unprofitable indicates a broken business model and not a structural problem in the overall retailing landscape.
  • Posted on: 12/05/2022

    Are ads causing shoppers to lose faith in Amazon search results?

    The Amazon ad business is great for cash flow, so as you state, it’s not the least bit surprising. I have found the ads marked as sponsored results, and they’ve never overwhelmed or appeared to masquerade as legitimate results.

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