Tech

Zappos Names Amazon Executive as Its First CMO

Zappos.com Inc. has named

Amazon

executive

Ginny McCormick

as its first chief marketing officer in its 23-year history.

Ms. McCormick joins the online shoe retailer from Amazon Hub, the division that runs Amazon.com Inc.’s package pickup and returns lockers, where she was global marketing director.

Amazon in 2009 bought Zappos for $1.2 billion, but let the company run autonomously under its former chief executive officer, the late

Tony Hsieh.

Ms. McCormick’s hire is part of an organizational shift within Zappos’s marketing division.

Ginny McCormick, the new chief marketing officer of Zappos.



Photo:

Ginny McCormick

The company’s marketing teams were previously embedded across different parts of the business. Now Zappos plans to form a more central, integrated marketing division, and is hiring staff to build it, Ms. McCormick said.

But the creation of a chief marketing officer title and the reorganization don’t signal a lean away from Zappos’s famously flat management structure, Ms. McCormick said.

“Historically, the company has used a personalized blend of employee empowerment and management that gives employees responsibility over their individual roles, combined with the guidance and mentorship of a department leader,” she said. “There are no plans to sway from this structure.”

Zappos under Ms. Hsieh’s 21-year leadership became known for customer service that stood out favorably in e-commerce.

Call center agents are given greater autonomy than at other companies to satisfy customer requests and queries, for instance, and the company pioneered a free shipping and free returns program that gave customers as long as a year to send back unwanted products. Zappos’s reputation for customer experience created favorable word-of-mouth that supported its marketing efforts.

Ms. McCormick said she plans to examine what consumers want from Zappos now, from their buying preferences to their expectations of customer service and community.

She also plans to expand Zappos’s partnerships with other brands and put a stronger emphasis on its “storytelling capabilities to amplify new voices and stories”—a plan she said will take a collaborative approach beyond typical branded content.

Amazon doesn’t disclose Zappos’s financial results.

Before joining Amazon last year, Ms. McCormick was chief marketing officer of

Funko,

a company known for manufacturing pop-culture figurines and toys, and head of global media for toy maker

Hasbro,

where she worked for nine years in various marketing and media roles.

Ms. McCormick will report to Zappos Chief Executive

Scott Schaefer.

Mr. Schaefer, a 14-year veteran of the shoe retailer who climbed the ranks to vice president of finance in 2020, was named to the helm of Zappos earlier this month. He took on the job left vacant at the end of last year by

Kedar Deshpande,

who resigned around 15 months after taking over from the retiring Mr. Hsieh.

Mr. Hsieh stepped down in August 2020 and died of injuries from a house fire three months later.

Write to Katie Deighton at [email protected]

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Appeared in the April 23, 2022, print edition as ‘Zappos Names a Chief Marketing Officer.’

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