Online fashion giant Asos is aiming to beef up its marketing with the appointment of its first chief growth officer, who has been charged with integrating activity with data analytics, customer experience and strategic planning.
In the first of a number of key appointments, the beleaguered retailer has recruited Robert Birge to the role; he will lead a marketing team of 170 people and a customer care operation of more than 1,200, reporting to chief executive Nick Beighton.
Birge effectively succeeds global marketing director Yale Varty, who left for Hostelworld, and global head of engagement marketing Morgan Fitzsimons, who has hot-footed it to the London Sock Company.
Birge recently served as an executive and adviser for various consumer ecommerce, content and ad tech firms including US online health start-up Blink Health, and online travel start-up Lola. Prior to that he held chief marketing officer positions at travel site Kayak, and at media agency IMG. He has also worked at TBWA Chiat Day in New York.
Earlier this year, Asos was forced to axe over 100 head office jobs on the back of an crash in interim pre-tax profits, with the marketing team taking the biggest hit.
Its final results to the year ending August 31 showed that sales had grown 13% to £2.7bn but heavy costs saw pre-tax profits fall 68% to £33.1m.
Within weeks the company had launched a search for a new CRM agency to help with marketing activity; an appointment has yet to be announced.
Beighton said: “Robert’s proven track record in delivering high impact marketing programmes for fast-growing ecommerce businesses means he is an ideal appointment for this new role. And, with more than half of our revenue coming from international markets, his global experience will help fuel our ability to take advantage of the growth opportunities ahead of us.”
Asos said it was recruiting for three other executives to oversee product, HR and strategy, which will strengthen the operational capabilities of the senior management team and ensure the business is “well organised” for the next phase of its growth.
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