Monday Oct 21, 2013 by Dennis Keohane - Staff Writer, VentureFizz
Wayfair.com announced today that it has brought on Michael Fleisher, formerly of Warner Music Group, as its Chief Financial Officer. As the press release announcing the deal explained, Fleisher "brings significant expertise in public markets, mergers and acquisitions, and guidance on strategic direction and global expansion."
Wayfair might be the biggest e-commerce company that no one is talking about. (Check back on VentureFizz on Wednesday for our company profile of Wayfair.) The company, which is the largest online retailer of furniture and home decor, has had unbelievable growth recently, growing more than 50 percent to "reach a run rate of $1 billion in sales."
Former CFO Nicholas Malone has been named Chief Administrative Officer with the addition of Fleisher, and will continue to oversee finance, legal, human resources and real estate for the home goods leader.
As Wayfair's CEO and Co-Founder Niraj Shah explained, “Following an extensive search process, it became very clear that Michael was the ideal person to help lead Wayfair.com through the next steps on our exciting path to becoming the world’s leading e-commerce player in the $400 billion home goods market.”
“In addition to bringing a strong and seasoned voice to our executive management team, we are confident that Michael’s impressive track record and unrivaled expertise in public markets, mergers and acquisitions, and strategy will help us achieve our long term goals.”
The move positions Wayfair for what could be a one of the biggest tech IPOs in Boston in recent memory, as well as make the company one of the largest e-commerce companies to go public [think along the lines of Zulily who just announced that they are going public.]
A couple of interesting notes from the press release reveals that Fleisher already has some experience bringing companies public.
As the press release stated, "At [Warner Music Group], he managed all corporate development and merger and acquisition activity and led the sale of the WMG to Access Industries in a transaction valued at over $3 billion...Fleisher played a prominent role in taking the company public in May 2005." Moreover, before working at Warner, Fleisher "served as Chairman and CEO of Gartner, Inc., the world’s leading technology research group where he led the company’s initial public offering and its move to the New York Stock Exchange."
If and when Wayfair goes public, one of the most under-the-radar tech success stories that isn't flashy enough to draw the same amount of attention as the Facebooks and Twitters of the world will have the attention of a lot more people. The Fleisher addition is one step towards whatever Wayfair's next big move may be.