Saks Off 5th appoints Amazon alum as chief operating officer
Shankaran will join the newly independent company starting August 16, coming to the digital business as it seeks to build out its management team following its separation from Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) last month.
Shankaran brings almost two decades of experience to her new role, having started out as a software engineer at Netscape Communications, before joining Amazon in 2005. She spent a total of 14 years at the Seattle-based e-commerce giant, rising to the role of director of global reverse logistics in 2010 and then to that of director of global device, digital and Alexa support in 2017.
In 2019, Shankaran left Amazon to join online insurance marketplace EverQuote, where she held the role of executive vice president for B2C business.
HBC announced the spin-off of its Saks Off 5th discount chain’s e-commerce business at the end of June. The transaction was carried out in partnership with growth capital investor Insight Partners, which led a $200 million equity investment in the digital business, valuing it at $1 billion.
Earlier in the year, Insight had already teamed up with HBC to support a similar spin-off of luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue’s digital business as a standalone company.
Saks Off 5th’s brick-and-mortar business, which includes some 105 stores in the U.S. and Canada, is still owned by HBC, which operates the chain through an entity dubbed O5.
Although now split between two separate companies, Saks Off 5th’s customer-facing brand has not changed, with responsibility for the marketing and merchandising for both O5 and the independent digital business having been confided to the latter.
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