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HSNi on hunt for new CEO as Mindy Grossman leaves retail for…


One of the retail industry’s most high-profile and powerful female executives has been tapped as CEO of Weight Watchers International.

Mindy Grossman will step down as chief executive of HSNi effective May 24. She will take the reins as president and CEO of Weight Watchers, effective in July, and will also join the Weight Watchers board at that time.

Grossman served as CEO of HSNi from 2000 to 2017. (The company has two operating divisions: HSN and Cornerstone, whose brands include Ballard, Front Gate and Garnet Hill.) She is credited with putting a more modern face on the brand and transforming it into a major force in e-commerce. Digital commerce now accounts for over half of its $4 billion annual revenue.

The company has hired a national search firm to assist with the search for Grossman’s successor that will include internal and external candidates. In addition, it has established an “office of the chief executive,” whose members will manage the company’s day-to-day operations until a successor is named. It will consist of Rod R. Little, CFO; William C. Brand, chief marketing officer of HSNi and president of HSN; and Judy A. Schmeling, COO of HSNi and president of Cornerstone Brands.

“On behalf of the board, we thank Mindy for her visionary leadership and many contributions to our company during a transformative period in its history,” said board chairman Arthur Martinez. “She has been a committed partner to the board in the development of important initiatives that have created a solid foundation for the future. We will miss her energy, creativity and passion for our company, and wish her success in her future endeavors.”

Grossman’s earlier career highlights include serving as global VP at Nike, president and CEO of Polo Jeans Company, VP of new business development at Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., president of Chaps Ralph Lauren, and senior VP of menswear for Warnaco, Inc. She also held senior positions at Tommy Hilfiger and Oxford Industries. Grossman currently serves as chairman of the National Retail Federation board of directors.

Weight Watchers has been without a CEO since last September when Jim Chambers resigned. It has been led by an interim CEO team.

"I am thrilled to join Weight Watchers and lead the next phase of the company's transformation,” Grossman said. “This is a tremendous opportunity to leverage technology and consumer insights to create innovative personal experiences, build loyal communities and accelerate growth. Ultimately, the ability to inspire people to live healthier and happier lives is what excites me both personally and professionally.”

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