F+W hires Amazon exec to run e-commerce unit
July 25, 2012 - F+W Media is continuing to expand beyond its roots as a publisher of trade and enthusiast magazines to become a significant online retailer, with the hire of Lucas Hilbert as vice president of its rapidly developing e-commerce business. Hilbert, formerly senior product manager of marketing and merchandising at Amazon, will head the company's entire e-commerce division in this newly created role, reporting to Chad Phelps, F+W's chief digital officer.
Since the e-commerce division's launch in 2008, F+W has been focused on curating, marketing and selling a portfolio of products and services to its enthusiast customers, and it's pulling big figures. Last month, the company reported 100 percent sales growth over 2011 and named the e-commerce division as F+W Media's fastest-growing segment. The division now represents a large, double-digit percent of F+W's revenue, says Phelps.
"As our transaction volume increases, we had a need for even more customer service expertise, more sophisticated data-driven marketing and an increased efficiency and use of technology solutions," Phelps told ABM."Lucas' diverse background gives him experience in all of these areas, coupled with his direct experience of curating products and services for niche audiences, making him a perfect fit for F+W's community-focused business."
Hilbert will be tasked with further developing the company's portfolio of websites into "destinations." In addition to heading the e-commerce division, he has been named to the F+W Media Executive Committee. Hilbert is currently relocating to Colorado from Amazon's headquarters in Seattle and will begin work on Aug. 6.
By Elizabeth A. Reid