With another round of layoffs coming, a co-founder departure, and top management hemorrhaging, haute-shopping startup Fab.com needs a corporate Hail Mary. Here's CEO Jason Goldberg's plan to remake the company. If your name's not mentioned here, you might be in trouble!
Goldberg calls the executive reshuffle a "refounding" of the company—a fake word meant to capture some very real urgency. If it doesn't light a spark under some managerial asses (and push more sales), the Fab's refounding could soon transition to Fab's removal from this mortal eCommerce coil:
I created this email alias for the "refounders" of Fab to be able to communicate amongst just us over the next few weeks, without fear of discussing such matters with people who will not be part of the next phase. You can email this list at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm considering the refounders as the key managers who are going to be helping lead Fab as we implement our 2014 - 2017 strategic plan. A current list of the refounders is below. We'll be adding to this list.
At this point most all of you are aware that we will be streamlining our organization to implement our 2014-2017 strategic plan. To achieve this we are moving from a functional department structure to a category P&L structure. This will distribute decision making and accountability throughout the organization and in doing so will require fewer people and especially fewer managers than Fab has today. It is also creating a great opportunity for many people (and many of you) who were previously #2's or #3's in their department to step up and take on lead roles.
A group of us met over the past few days to plan out the new organization. My goal is to be able to communicate that more broadly this coming week. A rough sketch of the new org is below.
So all are familiar with how this will work, there are 5 category P&L's reporting to a head of retail. There will be a GM for each of the 5 P&L's — a business person who is responsible for the entire P&L of that product line, all the way from how we obtain product, to how we sell it, and to the net margin from selling it and handling customer issues and refunds. Each P&L is structured slightly differently to start based on our 2014 plan for whether that P&L will be private label first or 3rd party first.
There are then cross-P&L departments that will each report directly to me: Design, Logistics, Ecommerce, Product, Technology, CJ's, Corp Comms, and Finance & Administration.
[image: Inline image 1] We will go into this all in much more details over the next days and weeks.
I will also be taking steps over the next days and weeks to make sure that each of you refounders feel very secure, comfortable, and motivated in your own position for 2014 and beyond.
*For now, I want to get all of you thinking about my biggest goal for Fab in 2014 and beyond: I want to turn Fab into The Design Powerhouse.*
What I mean by that is I want us to be famous for the individual designs we make and for the way we cultivate a global community of designers designing exclusively for Fab. We will recast Fab as the brand that is famous for the exclusive designs we make and bring to market. Narrow and deep. We only make and sell stuff that we absolutely love, that are special and unique to Fab, and where the price/value equation is absolutely the best in the market. When we make something we make it with the intention of selling thousands of units. We go deep on telling the story of how and why it was made, and why it should be purchased from us. We will build platforms to get designers around the world designing for Fab. Think about that. Think about how we make that happen and how your team will play a part in that. In the coming days and weeks we will build a comprehensive plan for making that happen.
REFOUNDERS LIST (As of November 9, 2013):
- CEO: Jason Goldberg
- CTO: Nishith Shah
- Finance: David Lapter, CFO. FPA: Renee Wong, Pierre Coker.
- Retail: Vivek Jain
- Design: Evan Clabots
- Office of the CEO: Susan Ho, Ryan Stu
- Ecommerce: Alex Do, Catherine Pao, Puneet Sehgal. Brand: PJ. Creative: Jordan.
- Comms: Deb Roth & Kimberly Oliver
- GM's: TBD
- Logistics: John Wu, Jacob Letendre, Daniel Butera.
- Product: Eric Price:
- People Team: Martin Paul, Renee Harper Lee. (ARP leading and supporting in near term).
- More to come....
As noted: We'll be identifying and adding more refounders in the coming days and weeks.
Just because you do not see someone's name here, do not immediately assume that they will not be part of the next phase of Fab. We are still making decisions. Ask me first please. I trust all of you to be leaders in this next phase and to act maturely about this and to treat this communication with utmost confidentiality.
It's going to take more than throwing a couple asterisks around "I want to turn Fab into The Design Powerhouse" to make it so—and remember: treat this with the utmost confidentiality.