Rocket Internet Taps Ex-Amazon Exec For Global Fashion Group

Rocket Internet-backed Global Fashion Group appears to have some extra spring in its step this month, and it just may be shooting for the stars.

The company announced Wednesday (April 8) the appointment of two new and notable leadership members — Romain Voog (formerly President and Managing Director of Amazon in France) as CEO, and Nils Chrestin (formerly of Rocket Internet’s Russian online fashion retailer Lamoda) as CFO to lead Global Fashion Group.

The new hires are expected to aid in the strategic and operational development of GFG — which operates through fashion eCommerce companies Dafiti, Namshi, Jabong, Lamoda and Zalora. The duo will take on quite the empire in leading the company’s platforms, which currently span across four continents and 27 countries — but that’s not to say they aren’t prepared.

In all, Voog boasts 13 years of online and offline retail experience, as well as a background as a strategy consultant, according to the release. Chrestin, in addition to his background at Lamoda, previously served as a private equity investor at Morgan Stanley Private Equity.

GFG said the duo will also “develop solutions to leverage know-how across the group even better, scale operations and hone its global infrastructure to strengthen its position as the No. 1 fashion destination for emerging markets,” the release said.

In addition to the executive switch-up, the company also reported that its latest funding round drew €32 million ($34.5 million USD), at a €2.8 billion valuation (roughly $3 billion in USD), from existing shareholders Tengelmann Ventures and Verlinvest. Rocket Internet owns 23 percent of the company’s shares, while entrepreneurial investment group Kinnevik owns 25.4 percent.

GFG’s move comes at an interesting time, as Voog’s former employer was recently beat to the punch in acquiring Net-a-Porter, an acquisition that would have greatly benefited Amazon’s fashion front. But Amazon is not one to rest on its laurels, and while it may have lost an employee to Global Fashion Group, it appears to have big plans in store for other non-fashion related portions of its site.

Then again, there is certainly room for plenty of players in the online retail space, so long as they know what their consumers want. Perhaps Voog and Chrestin have a few tricks up their sleeves to give them just that.


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