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Moda Operandi CEO Deborah Nicodemus Exits, Tesla's Ganesh Srivats Steps In

Srivats, who spent 10 years at Burberry before his stint at the automaker, joins the luxury e-commerce company on August 1.
Moda Operandi campaign | Source: Courtesy
By
  • Cathaleen Chen

NEW YORK, United States — Moda Operandi chief executive Deborah Nicodemus is stepping down and the luxury e-commerce company has tapped Tesla executive Ganesh Srivats to assume the top position, effective August 1.

Nicodemus, who served as chief executive for five years, will remain an adviser to the company. Under her tenure, Moda grew to 300 people and expanded product categories to offer jewellery, home goods and menswear.

“The board and I are confident that Ganesh is the perfect leader for the next phase of Moda Operandi as I pursue my passion for philanthropy while continuing to advise the company and team,” she said in a statement.

Nicodemus told BoF in May that she was "very focused on driving the bottom line" as the company strives to be profitable by 2020.

Srivats was most recently a vice president at Tesla, where he oversaw development in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as the Elon Musk-owned company's digital products and marketing. Prior to Tesla, he spent 10 years at Burberry, where his last position was the senior vice president of retail for the Americas.

Srivats is setting his sights on “rapidly [scaling] its business globally,” he said in the statement.

Founded in 2011 by Lauren Santo Domingo and Aslaug Magnusdottir as a pre-ordering platform, Moda Operandi raised $165 million in 2017 from investors including private equity firm Apax Partners and Hong Kong venture capitalist Adrian Cheng. It's preparing to enter the Asia market in 2019. Last year, the company reported about $165 million in revenue. Nicodemus said that the company is slated to grow more than 50 percent in 2018 as it rolls out menswear. The luxury e-commerce retail space has grown crowded in recent years with players including Farfetch, Yoox Net-a-Porter and MatchesFashion, all of which have access to considerable capital as they compete for exclusive styles, faster delivery and other customer services. Last year, LVMH — a Moda investor — introduced its own multi-brand online boutique, 24 Sèvres.

Since launching online in 2012, Moda has opened two “townhouse” showrooms for clients to view collections in person — one in London and another in New York. Plans are in the works to open a third location in Hong Kong by the end of the year, and the company is set to open more in other key cities around the world.

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