Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake to step down as CEO
San Francisco-based fashion subscription service Stitch Fix, Inc. announced on Tuesday that, effective August 1, 2021, founder Katrina Lake will be transitioning from her role as CEO to that of executive chairperson of the board. She will be succeeded at the helm of the business by the company’s current president, Elizabeth Spaulding.
Following the transition, Lake will continue to be closely linked to Stitch Fix. Alongside her role as chairperson, she will also continue to be an employee of the company, with responsibilities focused around the platform’s social impact initiatives.
Furthermore she will maintain her involvement in Stitch Fix’s brand and merchandising partnerships, as well as her strong connection with its management, a relationship that the company said would help “ensure we hire the very best talent for Stitch Fix's future.”
Since founding Stitch Fix in 2011, Lake has overseen its growth into an international business boasting annual revenue of $1.7 billion, 8,000 employees, and some 4 million clients spread across the U.S. and the UK. The executive took the company public in 2017, becoming the youngest woman ever to launch an IPO.
“In founding Stitch Fix, I was inspired by a very human problem, to help people look and feel their best by finding clothes they love,” said Lake in an email shared by the company on Tuesday. “Ten years into this journey, I'm even more inspired by this simple mission, proud of the way we've delivered against it, and incredibly optimistic about our future.”
Lake’s successor as CEO, Spaulding has served as president at Stitch Fix since January 2020, a role in which she has focused on the development of next-generation shopping experiences and innovation in inventory management. She has also spearheaded the company’s international expansion efforts.
Prior to joining Stitch Fix, the executive worked at management consultancy Bain & Company for more than 20 years. As well as being a senior partner at the firm, she also served on its board of directors and founded and led its digital practice.
While at Bain & Company, she drove the digital transformations of a range of top consumer and technology companies and also supported the firm’s own innovation initiatives via partnerships and M&A.
“The impact Elizabeth has already had, combined with the compelling future vision she's mapped out and is leading us toward, make this the right time for a leadership transition that will usher in the next generation for Stitch Fix, for our business, our people and our clients,” explained Lake.
“I am so grateful to Katrina and the board for the opportunity to take Stitch Fix on the next phase of its journey,” added Spaulding. “Given the seismic shift of apparel moving online, Stitch Fix is incredibly well positioned to become one of the most innovative and most transformative companies in the world.”
Although Covid-19 has generally bolstered the revenues of digitally focused businesses, Stitch Fix had problems early in the pandemic due to logistical issues that caused order backlogs. The company returned to revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2020 and recently reported Q2 sales of $504.1 million, up 12% year over year.
For the full fiscal year, the company is predicting revenue growth of between 18% and 20%
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