Kara Swisher

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Exclusive: ShoeDazzle Replaces CEO With Founder Brian Lee

ShoeDazzle, the Los Angeles-based personalized style and retail service, is replacing its current CEO Bill Strauss with its founder Brian Lee.

In an interview, Lee said Strauss had “voluntarily resigned,” but did not give any further details of the departure.

Strauss joined ShoeDazzle last fall from a longtime stint running Provide Commerce, which has e-commerce sites such as ProFlowers and RedEnvelope.

“Bill has done some amazing things for the business,” said Lee, who has been serving as chairman of ShoeDazzle. “The company has so much potential and over the past year has grown tremendously.”

The start-up, which got its first burst of attention from its affiliation with famebot Kim Kardashian, recently announced that it would tweak its monthly subscription offering and it also added several new retail categories beyond shoes.

It has certainly gotten a lot of money to make it work, raising $60 million from a high-profile group of venture investors since it was founded in 2008, including from Polaris Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

The reappointment means Lee will now have two CEO jobs — he has most recently been running The Honest Company, a monthly subscription service he co-founded with actress Jessica Alba and others that delivers bundles of eco-friendly diapers, wipes, skin care and home cleaning products.

Lee noted that Honest co-founder Sean Kane, who has been COO there, would be stepping up in helping run that start-up.

“These are two of the most exciting companies in L.A. and there are strong teams at both companies,” said Lee, who also co-founded LegalZoom.

To get an idea of the now multi-tasking entrepreneur, here’s Lee talking about Honest with Alba in a video interview I did earlier this year:


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik