Yahoo Hires Former Amazon Exec Kathy Savitt as Marketing Head
Kathy Savitt, the founder and CEO of Seattle-based Lockerz, is joining Yahoo as chief marketing officer.
Prior to founding Lockerz, Savitt worked as EVP and Chief Marketing Officer at American Eagle Outfitters. And prior to that, she was VP of strategic communications, content and initiatives at Amazon.
Savitt, who started Lockerz in 2009, was attempting to build a rewards-based e-commerce company for teens. While at the helm, she raised about $75 million in venture capital from investors including DAG Ventures, Liberty Media and Liberty’s CEO, Greg Maffei, as well as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Savitt marks one of Marissa Mayer’s most senior appointments since she took over as CEO.
In a release, Yahoo said Savitt will be responsible for all worldwide marketing and branding; she will start on Sept. 14 and report to Mayer.
As part of her departure, Savitt is making an investment in Lockerz and will become chairman of the board.
Savitt is a fast talker, who told me shortly after starting Lockerz at the age of 45, that she was not exactly a stereotypical entrepreneur. It was at American Eagle Outfitters where she became obsessed with how teenagers were going to shop and came up with the idea for Lockerz. The company has been a massive undertaking, which included building a social network and producing original video content that featured product placements for items that you could purchase on the site.
Before getting picked up by Amazon, Savitt was president of MWW Savitt, a public-relations firm in Seattle, which helped launch scores of start-ups back in the dot-com heyday. After nine years, she sold the agency to Interpublic.
Here is the release that Lockerz put out following the announcement, and below that, a video interview I did with Savitt in February 2011:
Mark Stabingas Appointed Chief Executive Officer of Lockerz, Joins Board of Directors
SEATTLE—August 27, 2012—Lockerz, the leader in rewarded social expression, today announced that Mark Stabingas, previously the company’s chief operating officer, will serve as a director on the company’s Board and assume the position of chief executive officer from Kathy Savitt, founding CEO of Lockerz. Ms. Savitt will join Yahoo! Inc. as chief marketing officer and become chairman of the Lockerz Board.
As part of the transition, which will take place effective September 14, 2012, Ms. Savitt will be making a personal investment in the Company.
“Mark has been instrumental in every aspect of the business, from setting strategy and building partnerships with some of world’s greatest global brands, to creating an experience that is meaningful and fun for members,” said Savitt. “Mark’s stewardship of the company allows me to step back from day-to-day operations and pursue an exciting role at Yahoo!, while remaining a committed and involved director at Lockerz, a company for which I will always have great passion and love.”
“I am thrilled to take the CEO torch from Kathy, who has been a great collaborator and partner over the years, both at Lockerz and earlier at Amazon.com,” said Stabingas. “The team together with our passionate members are reinventing discovery of products and content through an engaging social experience and a growing community of tastemakers.”
Stabingas has been part of the Lockerz team since December 2010, first as a consultant, before becoming COO in March 2011. As COO of Lockerz, Stabingas has focused on scaling the company’s e-commerce operations and led its finance, acquisition and partnership activities.
Greg Maffei, Lockerz Board member and president and CEO, Liberty Media, Lockerz’s largest investor, said: “Mark’s strategic and operational expertise, honed at some of the best-loved consumer brands in the world, and the strides he has helped Lockerz make in a short period of time made him the obvious choice to succeed Kathy.”
Stabingas served in senior finance and business development roles at Amazon.com including as a direct report to Jeff Bezos and a member of the Management Committee. Prior to Amazon, he held several roles at PepsiCo, most recently as Vice President Corporate Strategy and Development. He holds a Master’s degree in Finance from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a B.A. in Economics and Business from the University of Pittsburgh.
Based in Seattle, Lockerz is the leader in rewarded social expression, striving to revolutionize the way the world discovers and consumes product and content. With a membership community of millions in 195 countries, Lockerz rewards its members with PTZ® (points) for engagement and following, including collecting, sharing, shopping and influencing their friends. Members use PTZ to drive down the prices of fashion, beauty, home decor, electronics and entertainment in the Lockerz Store. Lockerz was founded by former technology and retail executive Kathy Savitt, and is backed by Liberty Media Corporation, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures and Live Nation Entertainment. For more information about Lockerz, please visit www.lockerz.com.