President and CEO
Kirsten Kuhlmann is a savvy, insightful and creative business leader with an adventuresome spirit and a passion for unlocking the potential in people and organizations. During her 25-year career as a corporate executive, non-profit leader, and management consultant, Kirsten’s experience spans the public, private, domestic, and international sectors and includes working with organizations to define strategies, plan and deliver large-scale cross-functional projects, pivot and transform business models, and turn around operations. As a retail corporate executive living in Europe for over 15 years, Kirsten was an integral part of the Gap team that established the company’s foothold in Europe, helping them scale from 8 to 220 stores and from one country to three, restructure the German market to maximize profitability, and roll out the Euro. At PUMA, Kirsten helped the organization transform from a sports company to a sport lifestyle/fashion brand and from a traditional wholesale business to a hybrid retail and wholesale model – enabling the company to scale from $800M to $3B. She built retail capabilities and restructured the European business from nine subsidiaries into one, set up a tax-efficient structure, led an initiative to re-engineer product development processes that produced a 20% increase in retail and wholesale turnover, and established a partner-franchise program to accelerate sales with limited capital investment. She also served as COO of the first online luxury consignment store, as it scaled from 15 to 60 staff members. Currently, Kirsten is President & CEO of Cliff Consulting, Inc., her woman- and LGBTQ-owned strategic consulting firm which empowers leaders and their teams to rise to the challenge of navigating continuous change and innovation. Cliff’s work with retailers focuses on developing and implementing effective strategies that support transformation of business models and operations, both in stores and across digital channels.