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Farfetch CEO José Neves Steps Down Amid Executive Shakeup

The luxury marketplace’s founder is one of several high-ranking employees who are leaving less than a month after the company was acquired by Coupang.
José Neves Steps Down as Farfetch CEO.
José Neves Steps Down as Farfetch CEO. (Getty Images)

Farfetch’s founder and chief executive Jose Neves is stepping down, according to an internal memo viewed by The Business of Fashion.

His departure comes less than a month after the South Korean e-commerce firm Coupang completed its deal to acquire the embattled luxury e-tailer, and raises questions about the marketplace’s future under its new owner. A cadre of other Farfech executives will also exit, including the company’s chief financial officer, chief product officer, chief platform officer, chief marketing officer and chief operations officer.

“After careful consideration we have decided to streamline the business to allow us to operate from a position of financial strength,” the memo said. “This process has involved some tough decisions, but ones that are necessary for our future success.”

Coupang’s chief executive Bom Kim and a team of remaining Farfetch executives will helm the company in the meantime. Further layoffs throughout Farfetch are imminent, according to the memo.

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Neves founded Farfetch in 2007 to connect multi-brand luxury boutiques’ inventories to its e-commerce site. He oversaw an aggressive expansion plan that included acquiring department store Browns, brand incubator New Guards Group and sneaker resale site Stadium Goods.

Farfetch originally announced its plans to be acquired by Coupang last December, after securing a $500 million bridge loan from the South Korean e-commerce giant and narrowly avoiding bankruptcy.

But Farfetch’s challenges have only mounted since announcing its deal with Coupang.

Some of the e-tailer’s partners have begun severing ties. Neiman Marcus Group announced it had abandoned plans to use Farfetch’s e-commerce software unit, Farfetch Platform Solutions — which provides online shopping tools for companies like Harrods, Chanel and Thom Browne — to revamp Bergdorf Goodman’s online storefront and app. Kering has ended its Farfetch contract, which enables brands like Gucci, Balenciaga and Saint Laurent to list select goods on the e-tailer’s marketplace and ship customer orders directly from the brands’ warehouses. The luxury conglomerate will phase out its brands in the second quarter of the year.

Read BoF analysis: Can Farfetch Survive Coupang’s Shock Therapy? So many leaders leaving the company less than a month after Coupang acquired it only adds to the difficulties the South Korean e-commerce giant will have steering Farfetch back on course.

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