Wayfair on Thursday announced Bob Sherwin will become chief marketing officer after Ed Macri, the company's current chief marketing and product officer, retires at the end of June.
Macri, who joined the online home goods retailer in 2007, helped to build out the company's marketing organization through industry partnerships and a proprietary advertising stack, among other things, according to a company press release.
The retailer announced its marketing team will now reside under Wayfair's Commercial organization, reporting to Chief Commercial Officer Steve Oblak.
Macri joined the online retailer at a time when it was still called CSN Stores — and operating more than 200 online stores, including AllModern.com, Luggage.com, Cookware.com and BedroomFurniture.com.
Since that time, the company has rebranded as Wayfair, consolidating all of those sites under one roof. The company has gone public and grown its customer base over the years.
"During his 14 years, Ed helped drive Wayfair's evolution from an e-commerce start-up to a leading global platform with more than $14 billion in 2020 revenue," CEO Niraj Shah said in a statement. "We are incredibly well positioned thanks to Ed's many contributions and his long term succession plan, and we know he shares our enthusiasm about the progress the marketing team will continue to make under Bob's leadership."
In its most recent earnings, Wayfair reported fourth quarter revenue rose nearly 45% year over year to $3.7 billion, while its active customers grew 53.7% year over year to 31.2 million.
But Sherwin steps into the chief marketing role at a critical time for the company. Wayfair has continued to spend more on its advertising quarter after quarter, with its ad spend increasing 20.5% to $374.6 million in Q4, representing just over 10% of total net revenue. Up until recently — when the pandemic gave a boost to retailers operating in key categories, like home goods — those high advertising expenses hampered Wayfair's prospects of reaching profitability.
As more digitally native companies begin to trade publicly, it has become more apparent how difficult it is to reach profitability selling goods almost exclusively online. Pet retailer Chewy and mattress brand Casper have yet to turn a profit since their public debuts in 2019 and 2020, respectively.
And with the pandemic-fueled spending in the category likely subsiding in the future, as consumers begin to venture outside of their homes again, it puts retailers like Wayfair in a vulnerable position. The retailer is faced with weighing the advertising expenses necessary to acquire and retain customers online and its own profitability.