Growth Strategies

Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso Steps Down as CEO

Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso Steps Down as CEO

CEO Sheree Waterson

Image credit: Nasty Gal

Sophia Amoruso, founder of the Los Angeles-based fashion and ecommerce company Nasty Gal, is exiting her role as CEO and handing the reins to Sheree Waterson, the company's president.

Amoruso will stay at Nasty Gal to head up the creative and brand marketing wings of the company, and will act as executive chairman. In a blog post, she explained that she sees the shift as putting her in a position to better be the company's "brand connector – both to the world at large, to influential individuals and organizations, and to our customer."

Related: From Clicks to Bricks: How Ecommerce Companies Benefit From Physical Stores

As for Waterson's leadership, Amoruso wrote, "Sheree is someone who has the experience, ability, and drive to attack our future with a four-pronged approach with elements that have never been combined in all of Nasty Gal’s history – art, commerce, purpose, and leadership." Waterson previously worked at Speedo, Levi's and was chief product officer at Lululemon before joining Nasty Gal in 2013. 

The move follows what was a rough year for Nasty Girl. This past summer, the company laid off about 10 percent of its staff, marking its third round of layoffs for 2014.

Related: Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso: 'Wisdom is Earned Through Experience, Particularly Mistakes.'

When Nasty Gal launched in 2006, the popular retailer was called Nasty Gal Vintage, and the only person on staff was Amoruso. Amoruso sold distinctive vintage finds she found through dumpster diving, Goodwill and the Salvation Army to customers on eBay. The company now has 255 employees, a store in Los Angeles and another on the way in March to be located in Santa Monica.

Amoruso – who has a sizable social media presence – chronicled what she learned from her years at the helm of her company in her book #GIRLBOSS, which came out this spring and is on Amazon's list of top 500 bestsellers.

The shakeup falls on the same day that Eric Koger, co-founder of ecommerce site Modcloth, also stepped down as CEO. Koger, who founded the company in 2002, will be replaced by Matthew Kaness, the former chief strategy officer of Urban Outfitters.

Related: 5 Strategies for Turning Ecommerce Browsers Into Buyers

Edition: December 2016

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