After eight years, founder Sophia Amoruso is stepping down as CEO of NastyGal, the subversive online fashion retail business she founded in 2008. The company's current president, chief product officer, and "extremely inspiring woman," as Amoruso herself put it, Sheree Waterson will take over the role, Amoruso said in a video on the company's blog. Amoruso, who will take the title of executive chairman, did not respond to a request for comment.
"I've spent a long time, probably the last couple years, thinking constantly about whether or not this is the job that I want or the job that I'm best at," Amoruso explained in the video. To those who've been following, the news shouldn't come as a surprise. Amoruso, who last year published a bestselling memoir, "#Girlboss," was known to question whether she was right for the leadership role, despite helping NastyGal achieve admirable milestones. Chief among them was securing a 500,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Kentucky, opening not one but two retail outposts in California, and producing an in-house brand of clothing.
NastyGal also picked up $49 million in funding from Index Ventures, a firm known for its e-commerce track record, and at last count, was doing upwards of $100 million in annual sales and selling to customers in 150 countries.
Regardless of these achievements, Amoruso may have lacked the necessary polish to truly succeed as a leader. As she joked in an interview with Re/code, "I'm not even a parent. I hope to someday be the leader that Sheree is."
In September Women's Wear Daily reported NastyGal had its third round of layoffs, dismissing up to 10 percent of its staffers. As Amoruso admits in her blog post, she may be better suited to being the face of the company rather than the person who steers it.