On Wednesday morning, Qurate Retail’s president and chief executive officer David L. Rawlinson 2nd announced new presidents for the QVC U.S. and HSN units, the addition of a chief of staff, and a search for a chief operating officer. It’s Rawlinson’s first management changes since becoming president and CEO in October 2021, succeeding Mike George. He joined Qurate as president and CEO-elect in August 2021.
“This change places our best leaders in positions to execute and accelerate our turnaround efforts,” Rawlinson said. “We will be focused and agile as we deliver engaging ways to shop for our customers and other important outcomes for our stakeholders. I am confident that our teams for our flagship QVC U.S. and HSN businesses, along with our shared services teams, will be able to drive innovation and return these brands to growth over time.”
The appointments create separate operating models for QVC U.S. and HSN and include enhancements to each brand’s digital and merchandising capabilities, Rawlinson said.
Mike Fitzharris has been named president, QVC U.S., which last year represented approximately three-quarters of QxH’s reported $8.3 billion in revenue. He was chief commercial officer for QVC U.S. and HSN.
Rob Muller has been named president, HSN, which last year represented approximately one-quarter of QxH’s revenues. Muller was senior vice president of global strategy and business development for QVC and HSN.
Mary Campbell has been named president of a new business unit to accelerate Qurate Retail Group’s efforts in streaming and other live video commerce initiatives. Campbell and her team will be responsible for growing digital revenues, separate from QVC’s and HSN’s traditional multiplatform experiences. She was chief content, digital, and platforms officer for QVC and HSN.
The new chief operating officer will fill several of the responsibilities that were held by Robert Spieth, who retired back in May 2020 as head of global operations for Qurate Retail.
Officials said the changes now being disclosed do not result in any departures.
The company said the new structure is designed to further differentiate QVC and HSN by giving each brand team direct control over its own merchandising, planning and programming, brand marketing, broadcast and e-commerce organizations. The intent is to also establish clearer lines of accountability and accelerate decision-making while maintaining cost efficiencies. In effect, the changes undo certain integrations made years ago.
“We built both QVC and HSN on the power of live ‘vCommerce’ experiences, storytelling and curation which demand highly specific capabilities that other players in retail, e-commerce and media are just starting to develop,” said Rawlinson. “That said, we need to move at speed to stay competitive and relevant in this highly dynamic time for retail. Giving each brand more autonomy allows each team to stay on the pulse of its discrete customer base and better anticipate how to evolve to serve them. Further, our new structure will allow our seasoned leadership team to transform, unlock value and bring these businesses to their full potential.”
The aforementioned executives all report to Rawlinson. The new chief operating officer will also report to Rawlinson, and will have responsibilities for U.S. fulfillment center operations, supply chain, customer support, global business services, procurement and corporate real estate and workplace services.
In another management change, Krystyna Taheri has been appointed chief of staff “to optimize business processes and own nascent strategy and business development functions,” the company said in its announcement. Taheri joins Qurate from Google where she most recently served as served as senior international growth consultant.
In its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2021, Qurate lost $215 million versus a $666 million profit in the year-ago quarter, and for all of 2021 saw profits drop 72 percent to $340 million, from $1.2 billion in 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2021, QxH incurred $21 million of costs related to the fire at its Rocky Mount, North Carolina fulfillment center.
Total Qurate Retail revenue decreased 9 percent to $4.1 billion in the fourth quarter, and decreased 1 percent to $14 billion for all of last year.