In other personnel news, Amazon's consumer division loses leader and Peloton gains new CFO.

Luxury goods apparel marketplace The RealReal Inc. announced that founder Julie Wainwright is stepping down as CEO, chairperson and director of the company. President and Chief Operating Officer Rati Sahi Levesque and Chief Financial Officer Robert Julian will serve as co-interim CEOs while a permanent replacement is found.

Losses at The RealReal have grown in recent years, with a two-year increase of 139.9% to $236.1 million in 2021 from $98.4 million in 2019, even as revenue has increased 47.8% in the same period. This year, first quarter losses through March 31 increased 2.5% to $57.4 million from $56.0 million in the same quarter last year. The RealReal ranks No. 527 in the 2022 Digital Commerce 360 Top 1000 and No. 40 in the ranking of Digital Commerce 360 Top 100 Online Marketplaces.

Wainwright’s contributions

Wainwright, who led the company for 11 years, planned a move to stores as a way of expanding the reseller’s reach before the pandemic struck. As luxury sales tumbled during stay-at-home orders, The RealReal relied on investment pieces like jewelry and watches to prop up sales. But the consignment service gained steam as the pandemic response improved. And inflation has caused many shoppers to look at second-hand goods as a way to save in the luxury market, with gross merchandise value sold on the platform up 30.8%  in the first quarter to $428.2 million from $327.3 million the prior year.

“While some are sad to see Ms. Wainwright leave, a fresh set of eyes on the business could be beneficial given the market volatility,” Jefferies equity analyst Ashley Helgans wrote in a note. “In recent months, investors’ priorities have changed to favor profitability over growth. An outside CEO with experience operating a profitable public company may give investors more confidence in [the] path to profitability and 2025 vision.”

“On behalf of the entire board, I want to thank Julie for her leadership and commitment to The RealReal,” said Rob Krolik, lead independent director, in a press release announcing the move. “Julie is a true visionary and pioneer whose passion for sustainable retail and deep ecommerce expertise helped transform the luxury resale market and create the broader circular economy for the benefit of consumers across the country.”

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“Rati and Robert bring complementary skillsets that together create a powerful combination of operational, financial and industry expertise,” Krolik said in the release. “Rati has been with the company since its founding and has worked side-by-side with Julie to grow the business from the ground up, creating our merchandising strategy, encouraging our sustainability efforts, and managing our operations. A valuable member of senior management since he joined The RealReal, Robert’s perspective and leadership have been instrumental in navigating challenges during the last year. They are exceptionally well suited to serve as co-interim CEOs while the search for a permanent CEO replacement is underway.”

Amazon consumer chief exits as Jassy hints at more change

Amazon.com Inc. (No. 1 in the Top 1000) consumer chief Dave Clark is resigning. He is a possible casualty of a slowdown at the crucial ecommerce business he ran.

The sudden departure signals that CEO Andy Jassy is looking for changes in the company’s consumer division. The division overbuilt during the pandemic. It left Amazon saddled with excess warehouse space that the company has since begun looking to sublet.

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“The past few years have been among the most challenging and unpredictable we’ve faced in the history of Amazon’s Consumer business, and I’m particularly appreciative of Dave’s leadership during that time,” Jassy said in a statement. “As we shared last week during our annual shareholder meeting, we still have more work in front of us to get to where we ultimately want to be in our Consumer business.

“To that end, we’re trying to be thoughtful in our plans for Dave’s succession and any changes we make. I expect to be ready with an update for you over the next few weeks.”

Clark’s contributions

Clark, 49, made significant contributions to Amazon during his 23 years at the company. He started out of business school in 1999, working to manage some of its earliest warehouses. Then, he climbed up the ranks of the logistics division until taking it over in 2012. As head of global fulfillment, he introduced robots into Amazon‘s warehouse. He took the lead in building a transportation arm, when partners like United Parcel Service Inc. and the U.S. Postal Service proved unable to handle Amazon’s surging demand.

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At founder Jeff Bezos’ behest, Clark was also putting in place the pieces for same-day and one-day delivery. Such fast delivery was expensive and probably contributed to the warehouse overbuilding in recent years.

Clark earned a reputation for being remorseless with underperforming employees — one nickname was “The Sniper.” But he also earned a reputation for being the one person with intimate knowledge of Amazon‘s complex supply chain. His departure leaves a big hole.

“I think it’s scary for Amazon,” said a former vice president. “Clark is the architect of that network.”

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During Bezos’ tenure as CEO, Clark ran his show with little day-to-day oversight. But when Bezos stepped aside last year, Clark found himself working for Jassy. Jassy was seeking granular details about Amazon’s businesses, according to three people familiar with the internal dynamics.

Jassy, who had a reputation for micromanaging during his time running Amazon’s cloud division, spent his first year in charge of the entire company diving into all elements of the business. That included hot topics in Clark’s world, including worker safety, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. Clark wasn’t receptive to the extra attention, they said.

Amazon and Clark didn’t immediately comment on the relationship between the two men.

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Peloton names new CFO from Amazon

Peloton (No. 36 in the Top 1000) named Amazon.com Inc. executive Liz Coddington as its chief financial officer. It marks the latest shake-up at the fitness company as it pursues a turnaround.
The company said in a statement Monday that Coddington will take the new job on June 13. She was previously vice president of Amazon Web Services. Current CFO Jill Woodworth, who joined Peloton in 2018, will remain a consultant during the transition.

Peloton overhauled its management ranks in February, bringing in new CEO Barry McCarthy, a Spotify Technology SA and Netflix Inc. veteran. The company — a highflier during pandemic lockdowns — is trying to revive a business that’s fallen into a slump. But investors have grown impatient with the turnaround efforts. The shares have lost roughly two-thirds of their value this year.

Before Amazon, Coddington worked at Adara Media Inc. and Walmart Inc.’s ecommerce arm as well as McCarthy’s former company, Netflix.

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“Having worked at some of the strongest and most recognizable technology brands, she not only brings the expertise needed to run our finance organization, but she has a critical understanding of what it takes to drive growth and operational excellence,” McCarthy said in the statement.

Bloomberg contributed to this report. Percentage changes may not align exactly with dollar figures due to rounding.

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