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Wayfair Names New CFO as it Navigates a Shrinking Customer Base

Wayfair

Wayfair has named Kate Gulliver to the role of CFO and Chief Administrative Officer, effective November 2022, following the retirement of current CFO Michael Fleisher. The retailer also reported disappointing Q1 2022 results, including a 13.9% year-over-year revenue drop and the loss of 23.4% of its active customers.

Gulliver currently serves as VP, Chief People Officer at Wayfair. She joined the company as Head of Investor Relations in 2014, helping develop the retailer’s relationship with many of its current investors. She has since helped advance Wayfair’s recruiting, organizational design, talent management, talent analytics, compensation and learning and development programs.

“Kate, Michael and I have been working side by side, literally, for the past eight years, and no one is better positioned to step into this role than Kate,” said Niraj Shah, CEO, Co-chairman and Co-founder of Wayfair in a statement. “She is a trusted counselor and has been part of every major decision at the company since becoming head of Talent. She is exceptional at balancing strategic vision, financial discipline, business savvy and people leadership. I’m excited we will work even more closely together in her new capacity.”

Paul Toms, VP of Marketplace, has been appointed as the next Chief People Officer. Toms has been with Wayfair for more than 15 years and will assume his new role on June 1 as Gulliver begins to transition to her new position.

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Gulliver will be tasked with guiding Wayfair through a difficult time as the retailer struggles to retain customers and rebuild sales volume. Net revenue for Q1 2022 was $3 billion, down $485 million from Q1 2021, and the retailer’s number of active customers fell to 25.4 million. Orders delivered in the quarter fell 29% year-over-year to 10.4 million.

However, the shoppers that stuck with the retailer are among its most valuable. Revenue per active customer during the 12 months ending March 31, 2022 was $520, an increase of 12.8% year-over-year. Additionally, AOV was $287 in Q1 2022 compared to $237 in Q1 2021.

“The companies that will be most successful in navigating this dynamic environment are those that can act with agility, balancing near-term demands with outsized longer-term opportunities — which is an apt description for Wayfair,” said Shah in a statement. “We are well positioned to outperform and gain share from here, particularly as supply chain constraints ease, and we are not losing sight of the massive market opportunity still ahead. At the same time, we are focused on returning to adjusted EBITDA profitability. We have complete confidence in the structural economics of our business based on the investments we have made and the key drivers that should propel profitability higher over time.”

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