Effective next week, Everlane founder and CEO Michael Preysman will step down as chief executive, taking on the role of executive chair and climate activist, Everlane said in an email.
On Oct. 6, Andrea O'Donnell, most recently president of Ugg for five years, will take Preysman's place as CEO, the company said.
For the rest of 2021, the two will work together, operating the business and managing the transition, and take on their new roles Jan. 1.
It seems clear that the pandemic has sped up online sales growth, including in apparel. The acceleration moved up the clock by three years, according to a May digital commerce report from Bloomberg Intelligence, which also estimated that the online apparel sales gains could actually reaccelerate into double digits through 2025.
That doesn't mean it's an easy street for DTC companies like Everlane, as legacy retailers also become more proficient at selling online. The clothing company this year brought on two marketing executives from Nike, including Sophie Bambuck as chief marketing officer and Shu Hung as global creative director. The company also hired its first general manager of e-commerce.
O'Donnell is another retail veteran; in its email, Everlane touted her accomplishments at Ugg, where the company said she "reinvigorated the brand and scaled the business."
These moves, and similar moves at other e-retailers, suggest that tech, differentiators like Everlane's transparency claims, and any supposed efficiencies gleaned from a digital-dominated model may not be enough to achieve or maintain scale. The founder-CEO of online apparel retailer Stitch Fix this year also stepped aside as chief executive, for example, and a digital leader from consulting firm Bain has taken her place. As at Stitch Fix and several DTC brands, Everlane has also faced criticism around workplace issues.