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Stitch Fix founder steps down as CEO, successor announced

By Huw Hughes

Apr 14, 2021


Image: Stitch Fix

US online styling service Stitch Fix has announced its founder Katrina Lake will step down from her role as CEO and transition to the role of executive chairperson of the board, effective August 1.

Stitch Fix said Lake will remain “closely connected” to the company. As well as her role as executive chair she will work closely on the company’s “social impact efforts, in particular the intersection between sustainability and technology in apparel retail”.

She will also continue her work with the brand and merchandising partnerships and remain closely connected with the leadership team, the company said.

Stitch Fix president Elizabeth Spaulding will succeed Lake at the helm of the company. In her current role, Spaulding has been working on “the expansion of the next generation of consumer shopping experiences”, as well as inventory management innovations and international expansion efforts.

Before joining Stitch Fix, Spaulding spent more than 20 years at management consultancy company Bain & Company where she was a partner, served on the board of directors and was global head and founder of the Digital Practice.

Stitch Fix president to become CEO

In an email shared with the company, outgoing CEO Lake said: “In founding Stitch Fix, I was inspired by a very human problem, to help people look and feel their best by finding clothes they love. Ten years into this journey, I'm even more inspired by this simple mission, proud of the way we've delivered against it, and incredibly optimistic about our future.

“The impact Elizabeth has already had, combined with the compelling future vision she's mapped out and is leading us toward, make this the right time for a leadership transition that will usher in the next generation for Stitch Fix, for our business, our people and our clients.”

Lake has been at the helm of the company since establishing it back in 2011 when she was a Harvard Business School student. In 2017, she took the company public. Today, Stitch Fix has annual revenue of 1.7 billion dollars, serves nearly 4 million clients across the US and UK, and employs 8,000 people.

Incoming CEO Spaulding said: “I am so grateful to Katrina and the board for the opportunity to take Stitch Fix on the next phase of its journey. 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.

“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. And, we can do it all with a deep commitment to bringing joy, inspiration and convenience to all of our clients around the world.”

Image: Stitch Fix