Fred Mossler Reflects On His Time At Zappos

Longtime Zappos executive Fred Mossler, who is hanging up his hat at the company, told Footwear News in an exclusive email that “the timing is right” to leave.

Mossler, who doesn’t have a formal title at Zappos, has been with the shoe e-tailer for 17 years. He helped to build the business into a powerful force in the industry, driving many brick-and-mortar merchants to begin more seriously experimenting with e-commerce and focusing on how to better serve customers online.

“I’m leaving Zappos now because the timing is right,” Mossler told FN. “With Steve Hill, our VP of merchandising, having assumed my operating roles over the past couple of years, the addition of Arun Rajan as our COO in 2014, and the adoption of Holacracy to fulfill the balance of my roles, I feel the company has a strong bench of talent that can take things to the next level. I’ve also invested in several companies that are gaining a lot of traction. There is a lot I can learn by being more involved with these businesses.”

Mossler oversaw merchandising, marketing, creative services and product presentations, among other areas, during his tenure at Zappos. He also helped lead the company through a transition after it was purchased by Amazon in 2009.

Mossler said the move now was similar to the “leap of faith” he took when he joined Zappos. He plans to stay in Las Vegas to focus on several projects there, including Downtown Vegas (a project started by Zappos founder Tony Hsieh), local restaurant chain Nacho Daddy, area cultural festival Life is Beautiful and flight company Blue Air Training.

“With e-commerce being four years old when Zappos started, there was a lot we didn’t know about this new industry, and we couldn’t have done what we did without the support of many of our vendors who took a chance on us and helped us figure it out,” Mossler revealed to FN. “I also learned how important culture is for a company and its direct impact on the bottom line. Companies that prioritize culture ultimately perform better financially in the long run. It took a village to build Zappos. No one employee could have done it alone.”

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