Posts Tagged ‘Mike Fitzharris’

HSN Honchos Out After QVC Acquisition

October 14, 2017

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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QVC Appoints Fitzharris Chief Of QVC Japan

December 20, 2015

Those QVC honchos are busy even during the holidays.

They have named Mike Fitzharris CEO and representative director of QVC Japan. He will be responsible for overseeing QVC’s operations and growth in Japan and report to Steve Hofmann, president of QVC International.

“Since its launch in 2001, QVC Japan has successfully developed and implemented strategies to become a leader in multimedia shopping, with a focus on providing great customer value and service,” Hofmann said in a canned statement.

“Mike has consistently demonstrated an ability to lead and inspire teams across cultures, and has the experience needed to drive customer loyalty, contribute to and execute enterprise strategy and build brand awareness.”

Prior to joining QVC Japan, Fitzharris served as Chief Operating Officer of QVC UK after rejoining QVC in April 2012, with responsibility for Customer Fulfillment Services, which include contact center operations, supply chain functions, warehousing and business intelligence.

Fitzharris began his QVC career in 1997, working across a number of areas before taking on the role of general manager of operations support.

“As QVC continues to expand globally, we are leveraging our worldwide talent and capabilities to drive collaboration and position the company for future growth,” QVC president and CEO Mike George said. “Mike is adept at driving innovation to achieve strong business results. His knowledge of global markets and commitment to excellence will position QVC Japan for continued success.”

John Thomas, who led QVC Japan since 2011 as the CEO and representative director, will remain chairman of QVC Japan. In addition, he has been appointed to serve as the vice chairman of CNR Mall, QVC’s joint venture operations in China with China National Radio.

“Throughout his tenure, John has maintained a clear focus on developing strategies to maximize our long-term position in Japan and in building an engaged and aligned team throughout the organization,” Hofmann said. “I am grateful to John for his tireless effort and countless contributions to the Japan business and will continue to rely on his expertise to drive our business forward as the chairman of QVC Japan.”

Thomas has played a key role in QVC’s global expansion for many years. He was the project leader for QVC’s entry into the Italian market in 2009 and through the launch of QVC Italy in 2010. He later led QVC’s global business development efforts and was appointed chairman of QVC Japan. He assumed the position of CEO and representative director in 2011.