Jeffrey Naylor, who formerly held C-suite financial and administrative roles at retail giant TJX Companies Inc., is joining the board of Wayfair Inc., Boston's fast-growing e-commerce company. Before TJX (NYSE: TJX), Naylor was chief financial officer of Big Lots Inc. (NYSE: BIG).
Naylor will replace Neeraj Agrawal, a general partner at Battery Ventures who joined the board back in 2011 when Battery led Wayfair's first big investment round. The swap signals that Wayfair is transitioning from its startup roots into its role as a publicly traded pillar of Boston's tech industry, even as threats loom and acquisition speculation swirls.
“We are excited to welcome Jeff to the board as we embark on our next era of growth and continue to address a massive market opportunity with tremendous momentum behind us,” Niraj Shah, Wayfair's co-founder and CEO, said in a prepared statement.
Wayfair, which started in 2002 as a disparate collection of more than 100 online stores selling furniture and home goods, brought in $4.3 billion in revenue in the 12 months ending Sept. 30 and employs more than 6,800 people. The company's stock price was trading at an all-time high of $83.73 as of Monday afternoon, giving Wayfair a market valuation of $7.3 billion.]Nonetheless, Wayfair has faced tough questions from investors in recent months. Shah spent some of the company's third quarter earnings call in November addressing Amazon's (Nasdaq: AMZN) rumored new focus on home furnishings, downplaying the threat by pointing out Wayfair's superior logistics infrastructure and better selection of high-end goods.
On the other hand, some analysts have speculated that Wayfair could be a valuable acquisition target for Amazon or companies looking to compete with it, like Walmart, Target or Home Depot.
By Kelly J. O'Brien – Technology Reporter, Boston Business Journal
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