It’s common for startups to pivot from their original missions when it’s clear that the market is presenting them different opportunities. What’s not common is for the founding CEO of an established startup to elect to leave just as his company has established a foothold with offline stores.
However unlikely, that’s the case with Indochino and former CEO Kyle Vucko. The online customer suit maker that’s experienced tremendous success in 2015 with the opening of several brick-and-mortar locations, announced Tuesday (Dec. 8) that it had hired Drew Green to replace Vucko as CEO as the company continues to pursue both online and offline strategies.
“On behalf of everyone at Indochino, I want to deeply thank Kyle for everything he has done for the company,” Green said in a statement. “Founding a company takes courage, resiliency and an uncommon fortitude. Kyle is an outstanding entrepreneur who has fundamentally changed the way men buy suits. He has grown the business from an idea sketched on a napkin at university to a global brand, with distribution to 106 countries.”
Why did Vucko decide to step away right when it seemed like Indochino was reaching its peak? In an interview with Forbes, Vucko explained that the transition from online retailer to O2O omnichannel brand presented more challenges that he originally bargained for.
"ECommerce is a hard business and retail is just as hard or harder in some ways,” Vucko told the magazine. “To pivot into a new model at scale is a lot different than if you’re a bunch of people in a basement starting from nothing. It’s a steep learning curve."
While Vucko plans on taking a step back from the hustle and grind to focus on his personal life, Green has no intentions of slowing Indochino’s march toward omnichannel dominance. Despite driving 30 percent of all sales through offline channels, Green told Forbes that he plans of achieving at least 50 percent in 2016.