Tuesday, August 4, 2015

QVC boss out

Will Claire Watts be replaced?

QVC boss out

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Former QVC CEO Claire Watts. (Photo from LinkedIn.com)
Former QVC CEO Claire Watts. (Photo from LinkedIn.com)

As of Friday, Claire Watts is out of her job as U.S. CEO at Liberty Interactive Group's QVC tv/online shopping group, which employs close to 4,000 at its West Chester headquarters, and plans "to pursue other opportunities," the company said last night. 

Watts "played an instrumental role" in expanding QVC from TV into online, mobile and social media based sales, and recruiting the company's current U.S. management team, her boss, QVC Inc. CEO Mike George, said in a statement.

In May, Watts told a Liberty Interactive investor conference that "we want to change the way the world shops, by re-imagining shopping, entertainment and social (media) as one... It's actually happening."  In a 40-minute presentation, Watts and her staff talked about recent "experiments" designing possible cross-promotions between QVC sellers like designer Isaac Mizrahi and TV shows like NBC's Apprentice, ABC's Shark Tank and Lifetime's Project Runway, and with Disney and Sesame Street characters.

"Amazing work is going on in digital, in media, in marketing, in technology, that is going to take this company into the future," Watts added. 

With Watts out, bosses at QVC include her aides Doug Howe (executive VP-merchandising and planning), Mary Campbell (EVP-Commerce Patforms), Rob Muller (SVP-planning and analytics), who will report to George while the company figures out how to run things in future.

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PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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Reach Joseph N. at JoeD@phillynews.com or 215 854 5194.

Joseph N. DiStefano
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