Over the past couple of months we have been moving deliberately to return Fab to its startup roots as we refine our strategy, build towards our 2014-2017 plan, and scale towards profitability. While many of our near-term decisions may not always make immediate sense externally, we are confident that we are making smart moves for the long term benefit of Fab customers and shareholders.
One important decision we made in this regard was to flatten our management structure. This decision resulted in the elimination of 8 executive positions. That was an incredibly difficult decision and one that we do not take lightly. The fact is that Fab had built a management infrastructure for a much larger company than we are today. As we return to our startup roots we need to be leaner and scrappier, with fewer levels and less hierarchy.
Fab’s amazing COO, Beth Ferreira and I decided together that it did not make sense for her to continue on in this next phase at Fab. This was an especially tough decision because Beth has been such an incredible close advisor to me and such an essential operator and leader at Fab. About 1/3 of Fab has reported to Beth over the past couple of years and she has been the driver behind Fab’s customer service excellence and our vast improvements in supply chain and logistics. When Beth joined Fab in the fall of 2011, our customer service team was inundated with complaints from customers, mostly about wanting to get their Fab packages faster. Beth fixed all this by hiring and leading a crack team of operational experts who took our average click-to-ship from 21 days down to 1 while turning Fab into an industry leader in e-commerce customer satisfaction.
Ultimately we decided, together, that thanks to Beth and the team she hired Fab now has the operational foundation in place and in 2014 requires a flatter organization, while Beth is ready for her next great adventure. In my mind she’s CEO-ready.
With all the hubbub about Fab the past few weeks it was difficult to get this message out and have it rise about the noise. I’m hoping it now gets its fair due. Beth is an incredible talent and Fab and I are forever grateful and indebted for her efforts in building lasting value at Fab.
Here also is a link to a fantastic interview with Beth by Forbes on the rise of female chief operating officers.
Thanks for an amazing run Beth.