ModCloth, No. 187 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, on Monday named Nicolas Genest as chief technology officer, citing his work developing web, data and mobile technologies as CTO at The RealReal (No. 206) for the past three years. Genest reports to CEO Matthew A. Kaness, who took over in January 2015 after two rounds of layoffs aimed at helping the retailer turn a profit.
Genest fills a position held by Udi Nir, ModCloth’s chief technology officer from December 2012 to December 2014. Genest also served as CTO of French flash-sale e-retailer Vente-Privee.com, No. 13 in the Internet Retailer Europe 500, and in 2011 launched the company’s American joint venture with American Express. Previously, Genest worked at Microsoft Corp. on database and .Net development technologies, and prior to that at Pfizer Inc., where he led a team of developers producing web-based intranet applications.
“Nicolas is an innovator and an accomplished technologist at creating revolutionary platforms that enable and quickly scale new business models,” Kaness says. “As ModCloth reimagines social commerce—online and offline—in the women’s lifestyle retail industry, I’m confident his leadership will be an accelerant to our growth.”
ModCloth, which sold exclusively online for most of its existence, will open five offline pop-up shops this summer. Since Kaness took over, the retailer also has expanded its private-label lines and started selling bridal and bridesmaids’ gowns.
ModCloth generated an estimated $164.2 million in 2015 web sales, up 8.0% from an estimated $152.0 million in 2014, according to Top500Guide.com data.
Though ModCloth has had a chief technology officer in the past, other retailers have just recently started creating top-level executive jobs to focus on e-commerce growth and strategy. Toys ‘R Us’ Inc. (No. 35) on Monday hired its first chief technology officer. Other retailers have appointed chief digital officers in the past several months, including Target Corp. (No. 22), Nike Inc. (No. 47), Vitamin Shoppe (No. 215), Boot Barn (No. 565) and LVMH Group (No. 56 in the Europe 500).Favorite