Shop Direct’s deputy chief executive and chief operating officer Gareth Jones will leave the business at the end of this year to “explore other opportunities”, Drapers has learned.
Jones joined the firm in 2009 as group retail director. Board responsibility for implementing Shop Direct’s strategy was added to his role in 2013.
He was promoted to the newly created role of deputy chief executive in October 2014, and took on the COO role in January 2015.
He is credited with leading Shop Direct’s transformation into a digital business, which included the closure of its catalogues last year. Among his other achievements was the launch of standalone luxury website Very Exclusive in February 2015.
His role will be split into two when he leaves.
Sasha Berson will join Shop Direct in September as group strategy and customer director from Groupon in Zurich, where he is currently EMEA chief marketing officer and vice-president. Jones will continue to run the strategy and customer teams until then.
Berson has more than 20 years’ professional experience, including senior leadership positions in data-driven marketing and strategy. He joined Groupon in 2014 and since then has established regional marketing strategies across more than 20 territories.
Prior to that, he ran online and mobile marketing for eBay Europe and led marketing activities around the company’s expansion into Russia, China and Latin America. Earlier in his career, he worked at Bain & Company and Credit Suisse.
Jones will keep responsibility for trading marketing, ecommerce and Very Exclusive until a replacement is appointed to take up these parts of his role.
Phil Hackney, who joined Shop Direct as group operations director in February, will continue to look after logistics, fulfilment and customer experience.
CEO Alex Baldock said: “Gareth joined Shop Direct in 2009 and his leadership has played a big part in our success.
”He led the removal of the catalogue and migration of our legacy brands last year. He’s made huge strides with innovation, from our award-winning ecommerce test and learn experimentation programme and our mobile-first approach, right through to our groundbreaking personalisation journey.
”He’s championed our digital talent agenda and recruited some excellent people. And he’s taken on new challenges, including the launch of Very Exclusive, shaking up the industry to democratise luxury, and managing the move to Webhelp for our customer service centres.
“Gareth has certainly made a big impact here, and will leave big shoes to fill. When it comes time to say goodbye at the end of the year, I’ll gratefully wish him every future success.”
Jones said: “After seven years with Shop Direct, now is the right time for me to explore other opportunities and do something different for me and my family. I look forward to watching the group’s future achievements and wish Alex and the team great success for the future.”