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 US Navy (Lieutenant Commander – naval aviation and naval intelligence) and has earned an MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, an MA in National Security Affairs at the US Naval Postgraduate School, and an MA in Human and Organizational Systems at Fielding Graduate University.

  • Posted on: 12/10/2019

    Did Aviation Gin just make lemonade from Peloton’s lemons?

    Peloton was so focused on their product as the message that they forgot about the customer and how she is portrayed and objectified in their spot. Aviation Gin simply saw the opportunity to benefit from Peloton’s faux pas and the instant popularity of Ms. Ruiz. Aviation Gin created a follow-on spot that leverages the existing context and buzz around “Peloton wife.” Not only is it the Peloton antidote, the spot is smart, witty, and celebrates women on their own term. Smooth, very smooth!
  • Posted on: 12/09/2019

    Canada Goose brings snow but no inventory to new concept store

    How can you not get excited about such new retail concepts and formats! Canada Goose has figured out how to blend product, brand and experience into a powerful retail concept that transcends traditional channel thinking. By combining in-person exploration and creative settings, Canada Goose ignites the imagination and elevates the brand cachet. This is inspiring and is part of a larger cross channel experience that is focused on the customer and how they experience Canada Goose. Brilliant!
  • Posted on: 12/09/2019

    Why do so many people say ‘no’ to retailer loyalty programs?

    Spot on, Dick!
  • Posted on: 12/09/2019

    Why do so many people say ‘no’ to retailer loyalty programs?

    I think Dick captured the key reasons well! Certainly without a compelling brand or the right assortment, a loyalty program is a waste of time, effort, and money. I would emphasize the need to reduce complexity. Just make it simple to understand and be rewarded. Don’t focus solely on the transaction with discounts; although appealing, they’re not differentiators or loyalty builders. Design a program around exclusivity, convenience, personalization, and ease of use that creates a value engagement that speaks to the individual customer and not an entire cohort.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    Why are brands so bad at identity resolution?

    The premise of the entire privacy and personalization debate is wrong. Customers want to be in control of their identity while retailers use every possible digital signature and bread crumb to create profiles and make a best guess at anonymous online identities. Shocking as it may seem, a shopper may not want to be identified while exploring gifts for a loved one because he or she doesn’t want to keep getting future offers for a personally useless baby stroller or a table saw (and all the associated products that algorithms will forever invoke). The crux of the matter is someone else (retailer) wants to predict what you want before you actually realize it; while a consumer wants to have control and make choices that satisfy their needs. The solution is for a consumer-based approach to event-specific identity sharing triggered by the consumer to a select number of retailers. It turns the “sale” on its head, yet has the potential to create strong loyalty and brand affinity. This may sound like an unreasonable fantasy or a bad dream as it’s completely disruptive to the status quo, but once consumers experience that level of satisfaction, freedom, and power they’ll never go back. Just remember what George Bernard Shaw said: “... progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    Can Barnes & Noble afford to take it easy over the holidays?

    Coming in three months before Black Friday, Mr. Daunt cannot make a significant impact on this holiday season. However, he can ensure that they execute lawlessly against the existing plan while setting up a radically different strategy that entails creating more sound financial position and introducing the right mix of services and assortments to not only attract customers but to make Barnes & Noble a part of their customers’ lives. Tall order indeed and one that requires questioning everything that has come before and a willingness to be bold and take “bet the business” risks.
  • Posted on: 12/03/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Kohl’s vs. Macy’s

    With a nod to a mass football culture (and a dose of DIY) as the common thread across households regardless of location or income, Kohl’s taking a lowest common denominator approach. Although the company elevates women to holiday time heroes, the use of a very masculine sport to attribute such heroics actually emphasizes that this is a male dominated everything when it comes to awareness, measuring success, or creating value. I really like Kohl’s as a store, but this spot heavily detracts from their brand. Macy’s does a much better job to connect their heritage and story while providing a space for the young (and not so young) dreamers. It feels good, although the low-lit scenes and spot length can detract from the overall message, this commercial is uplifting and much more on brand than Kohl’s. Now, if the stores can be as inspirational as this spot, we’d all celebrate.
  • Posted on: 11/26/2019

    Will IoT reinvent the supply chain?

    Supply chains thrive on information. With fresher and more accurate information, supply chain practitioners will make better decisions and realize higher efficiencies of the workforce. When that information is shared across the organization, such as sales and merchandising, we see better informed business decisions that optimize across the company and not just a specific function. Take that further to other partners in the extended supply chain and you are able to create shorter, smarter, more intelligent supply chains that better serve the consumer. It’s all about real-time, accurate, and actionable data that transforms existing processes and creates new ones in multi-echelon networks.
  • Posted on: 11/26/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Old Navy vs. T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods

    For Old Navy it’s an unabashed, full-throated price is everything message, down to the specific 40 percent off visual and voice over. Effective for existing customers, but very doubtful it can expand that base during the holidays. On the other hand, the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods spot cuts to the core of inspired gift finding while reminding the audience of the low price value to boot. The spot is effective for current customers with entertaining visual scenes and a musical score to capture your attention rather than a simple price message. The T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods spot is more thoughtful for this time of year, is more pleasing to the senses, and is just more effective on all levels.
  • Posted on: 11/22/2019

    The RetailWire Christmas Commercial Challenge: Amazon vs. Etsy

    Etsy’s spot celebrates the moments filled with the joys of giving and receiving. The unique artisan character of their products shines through to emphasize their values and brand promise. Amazon’s is centered on their logo and box. The animated Amazon smiling arrow is the hero coming to your home and by the way there are real people behind the brand epitomized here by the singing and smiling driver who’s just like you. Amazon effectively leverages that it’s everywhere and is everybody. Etsy spotlights its differentiation through hard-to-find creative artisan gifts. While both are effective, I found Etsy’s more compelling with a more narrow yet richly meaningful message.
  • Posted on: 11/21/2019

    Is Target killing department stores and specialty clothing chains?

    Target is not the culprit here, rather the company has had the leadership and capacity to take a long view, to pay attention to changing buying behavior, and to infuse technology into existing and newly created processes. Speed, agility and willingness to challenge their own business assumptions have created a culture prepared to thrive in a fast changing consumer environment. The real culprits here are leaders unable or unwilling to carry out what they know is necessary. Kicking the can down the road is a short sighted approach to staying in the game, but the final whistle will assuredly blow early despite the frenzied hand wringing and pointing at unfair practices and other monsters under the bed.
  • Posted on: 11/19/2019

    Are Americans ready for a DTC shopping holiday?

    DTC is absolutely a legitimate disruptive trend. Enabled by digital technology and distribution flows combining with the ability to create and direct consumer relationships, brands are discovering a new and effective selling paradigm. While I have doubts that a new DTC holiday has legs, it can definitely raise awareness and create momentum for other brands to pursue. Consumers should welcome additional shopping options while brands need to carefully manage their retail ecosystem relationships as they pursue growth and brand integrity. At the end of the day, a brand-loyal online shopper is likely to visit the brand for a purchase rather than via a shopping platform - as long as that online experience is easy, frictionless, and rewards such loyalty. For those consumers shopping on price and less sensitive to brands the whole DTC element is an afterthought.
  • Posted on: 11/15/2019

    Walmart has a too much grocery problem

    Thirty years ago, Walmart was not a serious player in the grocery business. The grocery segment is not where Walmart started in 1962 nor established its strength; that was in general merchandise. The challenge ahead for Walmart is all about identifying and executing on focus areas and applying data, technology and e-commerce to deliver lifestyle value propositions. Stronger apparel branding and focused marketing spend combined with cross-channel and platform execution will create the levers to drive the desired category sales breakdown and margins.
  • Posted on: 11/08/2019

    Gap Inc.’s CEO steps down. What comes next?

    When external change occurs at a higher rate than within the organization, a strategic disconnect takes place. The longer and deeper the disconnect, the greater the crisis and the need for extraordinary and urgent action. Mr. Peck’s departure is symptomatic of a long journey of inadequate responses to a fast-changing operating environment and consumer expectations. The next leader must focus on top line growth and operational efficiencies simultaneously with refocused and relevant branding while creating an operationally efficient power house. This Herculean task is made so, not for lack of past efforts and actions but for their inadequacies in view of the highly dynamic business environment. Gap is a truly iconic brand in search of the kind of future it deserves - more, much more than what we’ve seen lately.
  • Posted on: 11/07/2019

    Why do digital transformations often fail?

    So well stated, Scott!

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