Stitch Fix CEO Katrina Lake to Step Down

Stitch Fix founder Katrina Lake is stepping down from her role as the company’s chief executive.

The CEO, who founded the online styling service a decade ago while she was a student at Harvard Business School, announced her departure in a letter to employees. She will transition to the role of executive chairperson of the board, effective Aug. 1.

“Apparel retail is undergoing a reinvention, and Stitch Fix is exceedingly well-positioned to lead through it,” Lake wrote. “This moment of transformation in our business and our industry makes it the right time to think about the next generation of leadership at our company.”

The San Francisco-based platform added in a statement that it has named president Elizabeth Spaulding to the top post upon Lake’s exit. Spaulding, who spent more than 20 years at Bain & Company prior to joining Stitch Fix, has also been elected to the board of directors.

“The opportunity that we have ahead of us at Stitch Fix is extraordinary and grounded in Katrina’s vision and last 10 years of building personalization at scale,” Spaulding said. “We are creating experiences that will change the way people shop for generations to come. Given the seismic shift of apparel moving online, Stitch Fix is incredibly well positioned to become one of the most innovative and most transformative companies in the world.”

Since Lake launched Stitch Fix, the business has grown to serve four million clients in the United States and United Kingdom, with roughly 8,000 employees and annual revenues of about $1.7 billion. In 2017, Stitch Fix made its Nasdaq debut as “SFIX,” and Lake became the youngest woman at the time to ever take a company public. Its stock dropped more than 5% to $47 following the announcement. It currently has a market capitalization of $5.02 billion.

In addition to her role as executive chairperson, Lake will remain as an employee with a focus on the company’s social impact efforts — in particular, according to the company, “the intersection between sustainability and technology in apparel retail.” Spaulding, on the other hand, is tasked with driving the “next phase” of the business, including inventory management innovations and international expansion efforts.

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