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Owner of QVC and HSN Hires David Rawlinson as Its Next CEO

E-commerce executive tapped to drive retailer to adapt after pandemic


Mr. Rawlinson, 45, is a market researcher at NielsenIQ and former executive of industrial supplier WW Grainger Inc.

He will join the board of Kurta in January.


Mr Rollinson, who is black, is at the helm of affairs at a time when companies are trying to diversify their workforce, executive suites and boardrooms in the wake of racial protests following the killing of George Floyd during an arrest by Minneapolis police. Jeffrey Davis, Kurett’s chief financial officer, who has held the role since October 2018, is also Black.


“Representation matters,” Mr. Rawlinson said in an interview. “It is important for every youth to see that their future is limitless.”


Mr. Rawlinson said he was ready for the job because his mother watched QVC and HSN when he was growing up in Rock Hill, SC.


“It was the background music of my childhood,” he said.


A lot has changed in the business since then. Qurate, which owns online retailer Zully as well as catalog mailers Frontgate and Garnet Hill, and other retail brands, has transitioned from selling mostly on TVs to becoming a major e-commerce player.


Greg Maffee, President of Curate, said Mr. Rawlinson has a mandate to continue that growth. The company is facing stiff competition coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic as more retailers launch live-streaming platforms.


“David is a good fit to be the change agent,” said Mr. Maffei.


“We are in the midst of a real shift in consumer behavior,” said Mr. Rawlinson. “Some of it was driven by the pandemic and some was happening earlier.”


Like other retailers, Qureate has bounced back from the depths of the pandemic. Revenue rose 14% to $3.3 billion in the three months to March 31. The company came in at a net profit of $206 million from a loss of $20 million a year earlier.


Mr. Rawlinson holds a BA in Political Science from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. He holds a law degree from the University of South Carolina School of Law and an MBA degree from Harvard University.


In 2008, he became a White House Fellow in the George W. Bush administration and transitioned to a Senior Adviser for Economic Policy on the White House National Economic Council under President Barack Obama.


He ran Grainger’s online business from 2015 to 2020 before joining NielsenIQ, which provides market share and other data to large retailers.


Source: Business Hala