The Athete's Foot digital chief joins Afterpay as chief strategy officer

Mark Teperson switches shoes for payments as he joins Australian company

Mark Teperson
Mark Teperson

The Athlete’s Foot’s long-serving digital and omnichannel customer engagement chief, Marl Teperson, has hung up his shoes after 11 years to join Afterpay.

Teperson originally joined ASX-listed The Accent Group, formerly known as RCG Corporation, after it acquired Australian footwear chain, Shoe Superstore, in 2009. He was the director of multichannel for RCG until 2017, then became chief digital officer of The Accent Group from July 2017. Among the 12 retail brands Accent manages are The Athlete’s Foot, Platypus, HypeDC, Stylerunner and Merrell.

During this time, Teperson built out the group’s digital offering, growing it to a $150 million revenue business. His remit included omnichannel, marketing, ecommerce, merchandise and CRM.

As chief strategy officer with payments darling, Afterpay, Teperson will now be responsible for global strategy and sits on the worldwide leadership team. The newly created role reports to Afterpay founder and chief, Nick Molnar.

In a statement to CMO, a company spokesperson said Teperson’s focus will include further driving customer and merchant insights to power richer consumer experience and merchant value “as we move towards powering an economy in which everyone wins”.

“Mark brings a wealth of knowledge and has a strong reputation for leading and delivering high-profile strategic projects that support long-term and successful business growth,” the statement read.

In a Linkedin post, Teperson said he was thrilled to be joining Afterpay’s global leadership team and embarking on a new professional adventure.  

“Leaning into my passion for the consumer and relentless pursuits of excellence, I am bursting with excitement to join this powerhouse team, leading a global movement of 'fairness and financial freedom for all',” he said.   

While the job title might have been digital chief, Teperson’s efforts building The Accent Group’s digital offering was dependent on an omnichannel approach to customers. The company operates about 500 stores nationally.

“Digital wasn’t instead of, it was in addition to our stores, which is a defining difference in many businesses now - it’s about investing very heavily in both digital and physical,” Teperson told attendees at an Adobe event back in 2018. “We have built a reputation creating great in-store experiences. Our challenge was how to translate that into digital context, and how we live up to the idea that the customer wants to feel like it’s all one brand, which is much harder than it sounds.”

Fulfilling unmet customer needs was key to how Teperson built success. His other achievements included digitalising the customer loyalty program, creating a single view of customer and increasingly pursuing personalisation in marketing and engagement.  

Read more: Tracking digital customer experiences: The Athlete’s Foot journey

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