HSN Honchos Out After QVC Acquisition

When news broke earlier this year that QVC’s parent company was buying HSN, we knew a lot of executives would be exiting once the reorganization began to merge the two home shopping networks. Well, that other shoe dropped this week.

Liberty Interactive Corp. announced a slew of appointments and promotions.

Not on the list: The honchos at HSN, who will be gone. This includes HSN President Bill Brand, who who have met and interviewed over many years. We will be sad to see him go. But is is typical for the old management team to leave following an acquisition — just like layoffs are common as departments get merged.

http://www.stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2017/10/12/qvc-group-announces-plans-for-new-leadership-team-and-structure-to-drive-global

HSN has been without a CEO since Mindy Grossman left to head up Oprah Winfrey’s Weight Watchers. And QVC, the domestic channel, has been without a chief forever. Both networks have seen their sales drop during the past few quarters, facing a difficult retail market in America.

Now both those home shopping networks will have heads, Mike George said in Liberty’s press release.

Steve Hofmann was named president of QVC US. He is currently president of QVC International, a unit that has performed very well for Liberty Interactive.

“QVC US brings the QVC shopping experience — combining the best of retail, media and social—to customers in the US,” the press release said. “It is our largest business unit with over $6B in revenue in 2016.”

Mike Fitzharris was named HSN’s president, He is currently CEO, representative director and chairman of QVC Japan.

In addition, Doug Howe was named chief merchandising officer.

And the press release had a goodbye to Brand and his cohorts at HSN.

“I’d like to acknowledge and thank Bill Brand, Rod Little, and Judy Schmeling, who comprise the Office of the Chief Executive at HSNi, who will be stepping down post the transaction closing,” George said.

“They have steered the company well through the changes of the last several months and have been a trusted sounding board to me and our other leaders as we plan for the future. Each has made extraordinary contributions to HSNi, building the company into one of the premier lifestyle retailers. I’m grateful for all their support and look forward to working with them in the coming months to ensure a smooth transition.”

To our surprise, Liberty filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission that included a transcript of George’s comments following the big announcement. We’re not sure if he was talking to Wall Street analysts or employees.

http://www.hsni.com/secfiling.cfm?filingid=950103-17-9965&CIK=1434729

Here’s what George had to say about his execs and their activity in advance of the completion of QVC’s purchase of HSN:

SO THEY’VE BEEN HAVING LOTS OF FUN AND SOME STRESS AND CHALLENGE, KIND OF WORKING THROUGH THAT EFFORT. THINKING ABOUT WHERE THERE ARE OPPORTUNITIES FOR SYNERGIES, FOR COST SAVINGS, BUT ALSO FOR REVENUE OPPORTUNITIES, GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES. SO THOSE TEAMS HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED. THEY’RE HARD AT WORK. A NUMBER OF YOU HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN THAT EFFORT.

AND THEN AT THE SAME TIME WE’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT ORGANIZATION DESIGN. HOW DO WE BRING THESE COMPANIES TOGETHER WITH AN ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE THAT WILL MAKE SENSE, THAT WILL LET EACH OF THE BRANDS UNDER THIS NEW COMPANY ACHIEVE ITS FULL POTENTIAL.

Here is George’s shout-out to Brand, et al. What do you think of it?

NOW BEFORE I GET INTO THOUGH, ONE OF THE THINGS I DID WITH THE HSNI TEAM WAS I TALKED A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE EXECUTIVE LEADERS AT HSN, WHO HAVE BEEN SUCH GREAT PARTNERS TO ME IN TAKING THIS FORWARD. SOME OF THEM WHOM WILL CONTINUE ON IN THE COMBINED COMPANY, AND WE’RE THRILLED ABOUT THAT, SOME OF WHOM ARE MOVING ON.

AND THAT’S THE REALITY OF THIS KIND OF ACQUISITION IS YOU GET SOME GREAT NEW PEOPLE AND YOU LOSE SOME GREAT PEOPLE. AND BILL JUST WARNED ME, HE SAID DON’T GO TALKING ABOUT EVERY PERSON ON THE EXECUTIVE TEAM, JUST KIND OF GET THE NEWS. SO I WON’T EMBARRASS EVERYONE ON THE EXECUTIVE TEAM, LIKE I DID IN THE POWER MEETING. BUT FULL DISCLOSURE, BUT I DO WANT TO JUST TAKE A MOMENT TO APPRECIATE BILL AND ROD AND JUDY.

[APPLAUSE]

THEY HAVE BEEN TREMENDOUS PARTNERS TO ME AND THE WHOLE TEAM AND THEY HAVE BEEN SO FOCUSED ON WHAT’S RIGHT FOR HSN, WHAT’S RIGHT FOR THE NEW COMPANY, WHAT’S RIGHT FOR OUR PEOPLE, AND THEY SHOW UP EVERY DAY TRYING TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. AND YOU KNOW IT DOESN’T ALWAYS GO THAT WAY, BUT YOU SORT OF TAKE THAT FOR GRANTED HERE AT HSN BECAUSE THAT CULTURE’S DEEP EMBEDDED IN THE COMPANY.

AND SO IT’S BEEN MY GREAT PRIVILEGE AND HONOR TO GET TO KNOW THE THREE OF THEM AND ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE EXECUTIVE TEAM AND AGAIN THRILLED THAT SOME WILL BE STAYING WITH US, BUT OF COURSE ROD, JUDY, BILL, A FEW OTHERS WILL BE MOVING ON AS WE MOVE TO CLOSE. AND ARE JUST GRATEFUL FOR ALL YOU’VE DONE TO SUPPORT THIS EFFORT SO THANK YOU.

[APPLAUSE]

And don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.

However, we are pretty sure that Brand and the gang have nice contracts that give them generous golden parachutes if HSN is purchased.

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2 Responses to “HSN Honchos Out After QVC Acquisition”

  1. Joe Says:

    LOL, organization being led by retreads who bring nothing to the table and led by the Mikey the captain of the Titanic. Mikey’s idea of business innovation is shuffle the deck, fire second in commands when things look bad, and shift jobs to lower paying countries at the expense of American jobs. The last thing he innovated was raising prices at the salad bar. This company wil be gone in 5 to 10 years and hopefully Mikey’s conscience will be tormented but I doubt it.

  2. Marilyn Says:

    How many hosts will be affected? I Guess we will have to wait and see. Will we be able to use the QVC card at HSN and vice-versa?

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