The August 14 edition of HOMEWORLD BUSINESS® revealed the 12th annual “Players,” people to watch in housewares during the next 12 months.
Selected by HomeWorld Business editors, the Players represent a cross section of a diverse housewares business— from established to newly installed company leaders; from large to small operations, from big-box to specialty retailers; from trade show managers to celebrity endorsers.
The HomeWorld Players are in the spotlight not only for how they might impact their respective organizations in the coming months, but also for how they might impact the overall housewares business.
Mike George, QVC, President and CEO
PLAYER’S CREDENTIALS: Mike George, set to preside over the merged QVC/HSN (to be known as QVC Corp.), has been president of QVC since November 2005 and as its CEO since April 2006. He previously held various positions with Dell, Inc., notably chief marketing officer and general manager of Dell’s U.S. consumer business.
A background of technology, e-commerce and retailing places George at the epicenter of a proposed merger of the two largest TV shopping outlets into a combined $14 billion company that would become the third largest e-commerce player behind Amazon and Walmart.
WHAT TO WATCH: George aims to leverage the merged company’s scale and synergies to redirect an aging and sagging TV shopping-based model into a more responsive and interactive multi-media marketing platform. He is tasked with overseeing a restaging of the business’ broadcast merchandising core with a more engaging 24/7 content experience across a variety of digital platforms that can captivate a broader consumer base beyond its traditional TV viewers.
George will look to optimize areas where QVC and HSN can integrate resources for increased efficiency while capitalizing on separate physical operations that produce differentiated electronic “storefronts” and product/brand programs.
QVC is said to have a stronger web platform of the two, while HSN under previous CEO Mindy Grossman developed a mix of fresh celebrity and entertainment brands in an effort to attract younger consumers. George is tapping into QVC’s recent Zulily acquisition, which delivered a solid base of Millennial women customers, along with a Seattle-based creative and operational team that could infuse the combined QVC/HSN with new perspectives and processes. George already has turned to Zulily’s warehouse management engineers to create a more responsive system for QVC.
PERSPECTIVE: George said he is focused on advancing QVC’s personalization and interactive TV capabilities.
“We believe that humanity still matters in shopping, that relationships matter, people matter, inspiration matters, joy matters, fun matters in shopping, and that’s a really special thing that we get to experience together,” George said. “We can’t begin to imagine what the future of augmented reality will mean for our world. We can’t begin to imagine what conversational commerce will mean. The continued mobilization of the world, personalization. What happens when we come together, when instead of trying to innovate on our own, we do it together?”
2018 HomeWorld Business Players (click on name for profile):
- Katrina Helmkamp, Lenox Corporation
- Terry Carlson, Lasko Products
- Gilles Gosselin, Atlantic Promotions/Starfrit
- Brendan Proctor, Lidl U.S.
- John Mackey, Whole Foods Market
- Arjen Linders, Philips North America
- Mike George, QVC
- Rob Kay, Filament Brands
- Marc Lore, Walmart
- Kurt Jovais, Midea America Corp.
- Liz Zadro, Zadro Products
- Bradley Smith, Cheyenne Products
- Larry Witt, Oxo
- Lori Gonzalez, Twin-Star
- Bobby Griggs, Hammer Stahl
- Tony Curtis-Wellings, Faraday’s
- Brett Bradshaw & Robert Michelson, Bradshaw
- Rick Carey, Metal Ware