Gilt Groupe Names Susan Lyne Chief Executive OfficerSeptember 15, 2008
Gilt.com positioned for broader growth in luxury brand business;
Company Founders Remain in Key Management Positions
NEW YORK, NY – September 15, 2008 – Gilt Groupe, Inc. today announced that Susan Lyne has been named Chief Executive Officer of the luxury web-based retailer.
Ms. Lyne succeeds Alexis Maybank, Gilt Groupe’s founding Chief Executive Officer. Ms. Maybank has been named Founder and Chief Strategy Officer; and Alexandra Wilson remains Founder and Chief Merchandise Officer. The new executive appointments are effective immediately.
A strong executive with broad managerial experience, Ms. Lyne brings more than 20 years of media, merchandising and business leadership to the Company.
“Susan’s vision for the convergence of retail and the Internet will further our success in redefining how fashion and design goods are marketed and distributed. She is the right leader for Gilt Groupe at this period in its expansion,” said Ms. Maybank. “Her extensive media and entertainment background and her history of successful brand building will be invaluable. Her strong management experience and commitment to the Company’s core values will help shape Gilt Groupe’s growth and the industry’s as it advances. She is also one of the most respected women in business today, and we know our brand partners will look forward to working with her.”
Gilt Groupe provides access, by invitation only, to men’s, women’s and children’s high end fashion and luxury brands at prices up to 70% off retail. From Valentino to Diane Von Furstenberg and John Varvatos, Gilt Groupe offers more than ten sales weekly on its website, www.gilt.com. With more than 500 sales annually, the Company hosts hundreds of thousands of customers in a rapidly growing membership who make it a daily habit to shop on www.gilt.com for products as varied as Kwiat fine diamond jewelry to Dolce & Gabbana gowns and men’s Lambertson Truex briefcases. Its sales can effectively move upwards of five dresses a second to members from Manhattan to Anchorage, Alaska.
“As a passionate customer of Gilt Groupe, I understand why members describe it as an addiction,” Ms. Lyne said. “I have been enormously impressed by the Gilt team, the viral growth of its business, its brand partnerships, and the leadership position that Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilson have captured since the company’s launch last November. I am thrilled by the opportunity to work alongside them to drive Gilt Groupe to its full potential.”
From November 2004 to July 2008, Susan Lyne served as President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSLO), where she led the company’s recovery and return to profitability. Under her leadership, MSLO significantly grew its media business with the relaunch of marthastewart.com and new publishing ventures. She also diversified its merchandising portfolio with a number of new partnerships, including the Martha Stewart Collection at Macy’s. With the acquisition of Chef Emeril Lagasse’s company, MSLO became a recognized leader in lifestyle content and products.
Prior to joining MSLO, Ms. Lyne spent eight years from 1996 to 2004 as an executive at The Walt Disney Company, principally at ABC where, as President of Entertainment, she oversaw the development of such hits as Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey’s Anatomy, and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. During her tenure, ABC’s movies and miniseries dominated the ratings and earned numerous awards, including the Peabody, Golden Globe, Humanitas and DGA awards, as well as multiple Emmys. Earlier in her career, she created Premiere Magazine, where she served as Editor-in-Chief and Publication Director for eight years. Ms. Lyne has received numerous awards and honors and was recently named by The Wall Street Journal as one of its “50 Women to Watch.”