QVC Post-Merger Reorganization Will See Top HSN Execs Exit

Sheena Butler-Young

Three months after QVC Inc. announced its buyout of competitor HSN, the company today unveiled a new organizational structure as well as a reshuffled senior executive team.

The new setup — geared at streamlining the new entity and boosting its global reach — will see the departure of several key HSN executives including Bill Brand, Rod Little, and Judy Schmeling, who comprised the Office of the Chief Executive at HSNi. Brand, Little and Schleming — who replaced former HSN CEO Mindy Grossman when she stepped down in May — will exit post the transaction closing.

Our new group will bring together QVC, HSN, Zulily and the Cornerstone brands to create a premier global retailer with extraordinary reach and unlimited potential,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said. “Together, we will define a new generation of shopping that combines commerce, content, and multi-platform engagement to change the way ‘she’ shops — all the while retaining the uniqueness of our well-known brands and continuing to build on our distinctive legacies.”

Among its new initiatives, George said the company will now consist of five business units and eight global functions, which includes a newly launched New Ventures division, to be headed up by Zulily cofounder and CEO Darrell Cavens.

The business units are: QVC US, led by Steve Hofmann, who was previously president of QVC International; QVC International, for which a president search is underway; HSN, headed by Mike Fitzharris, CEO and chairman of QVC Japan; Zulily, with Zulily chief merchant Lori Twomey as interim president; and Cornerstone, led by Claire Spofford, who will also continue to serve as president of Garnet Hill.

The eight functions consists of:

  • Global Merchandising — Doug Howe will be chief merchandising officer. Howe is currently EVP of merchandising, QVC.
  • Interactive Commerce Experiences — Mary Campbell will be chief interactive experience officer. Campbell is currently EVP of commerce platforms at QVC. Todd Sprinkle will be chief digital officer, reporting to Campbell.
  • New Ventures — Darrell Cavens will be president. Cavens is currently president and CEO, zulily. New Ventures will be responsible for driving innovative retail concepts and looking beyond current business for additional growth opportunities, through internal innovation, strategic partnerships, joint ventures and acquisitions, the company said.
  • Operations — Bob Spieth will be COO. Speith is currently EVP of customer & Business Services for QVC and zulily.
  • People, Communications & Community — Beth Rubino will be chief people officer. Rubino is currently EVP of human resources, QVC.
  • Technology — Karen Etzkorn will be chief information officer. Etzkorn is currently CIO at HSNi.
  • Finance — Ted Jastrzebski will be CFO. Jastrzebski is currently EVP and CFO at QVC.
  • Legal & Compliance — Larry Hayes will be general counsel. Hayes is currently SVP and general counsel for QVC.

“These are strong, seasoned executives, drawn from across our businesses, with deep expertise in their respective disciplines and in retail,” George said. “I’d like to acknowledge and thank Bill Brand, Rod Little, and Judy Schmeling … They have steered the company well through the changes of the last several months and have been a trusted sounding board to me and our other leaders as we plan for the future.  Each has made extraordinary contributions to HSNi, building the company into one of the premier lifestyle retailers.”

George also doubled down today on the financial targets QVC released when it announced the HSN acquisition in July. Specifically, QVC Group expects to generate $14 billion in annual revenue and serve 23 million customers globally.

Until the transaction closes, all leaders at HSNi, QVC, and zulily will continue in their current roles, and QVC and HSNi will continue to operate as separate companies. QVC parent Liberty Interactive Corp. is expected to complete its acquisition of HSN later this year.

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