Fab Operating Chief Said to Be Leaving Company Amid Shakeup

Photographer: Britta Pedersen/dpa via AP Photo
The European headquarters of the U.S. company and shopping portal Fab.com in Berlin, Germany on May 29, 2013.

Fab Inc. Chief Operating Officer Beth Ferreira is leaving the company, adding to a surge in executive turnover at the online retailer, according to people with knowledge of the situation.

Ferreira, a former Etsy Inc. executive who joined Fab in 2011, will depart by the end of the year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn't yet public. Chief Executive Officer Jason Goldberg announced the move to Fab’s board in an e-mail that was viewed by Bloomberg News. He also plans to further ``downsize'' the company.

The move follows the departure this month of co-founder Bradford Shellhammer, who was in charge of picking merchandise for the site. The two-year-old startup, which gained a following among shoppers for its assortment of quirky housewares, was valued at about $1 billion earlier this year. Its rapid growth brought challenges and missteps, forcing the company to scale back a European expansion, fire workers and simplify the way it sells merchandise.

Related: Fab’s Internal Memo on Company Restructuring

“It is accurate that Fab is undergoing management changes as we realign the business to execute on our 2014-2017 plan,” said Deborah Roth, a spokeswoman for the New York-based company, who declined to comment on Ferreira’s move. “There will be a number of management changes involved as we streamline the organization.”

After cutting almost 20 percent of Fab’s employees last month, Goldberg has presented a new restructuring plan to the board in a bid to reach profitability. He will reveal the organizational changes by the end of this week, according to a Nov. 7 e-mail to his staff.

Narrower Focus

“This plan includes a narrower business focus, refined merchandising strategy, investment in strategic initiatives to delight our customers, and a revamped and streamlined organization structure that will help us better serve our customers while guiding Fab to profitability,” Goldberg said.

The company is shifting away from flash sales -- selling limited amounts of goods in bursts -- and toward a more traditional approach of carrying inventory. The transition has come with a shakeup at the top. Fab has lost more than a dozen high-ranking managers and executives, including its chief marketing officer and head of the European business.

Fab raised $150 million in June from investors such as China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd. Additional funding rounds in July and August brought the total amount raised to at least $325 million.

Before joining Fab, Ferreira had worked as an operations consultant to startups such as Birchbox and Pixable, according to a blog post by Goldberg when she was hired. Prior to that, she was vice president of operations and finance at Etsy, an online marketplace of handmade goods.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

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