Rent the Runway Deepens Executive Bench

Staff Writer |

Designer apparel rental biz boasts largest U.S. drycleaning operation

NEW YORK — Rent the Runway, which boasts the country’s largest drycleaning operation in support of its growing designer apparel rental business, is deepening its executive bench with the addition of new executive hires, the company reports.

Joining the company are Scarlett O’Sullivan, previously of SoftBank Capital, who will become chief financial officer, and Maureen Sullivan, formerly of AOL and Google, who will become president of the events business.

As Rent the Runway rapidly moves into its next phase of growth, it continues to attract leaders who can scale the firm, the company says. It will soon announce two additional senior hires from world-class firms as it expands both its special occasion and everyday wear businesses. The executives will report to CEO Jennifer Hyman.

“In the past few months, we have discovered product market fit for our subscription business around everyday clothing which has hundredfold potential. We have the opportunity now to capitalize on our momentum with an executive leadership team who can drive us to the next phase of growth,” says Jennifer Hyman, co-founder and CEO of Rent the Runway.

O’Sullivan will make certain that Rent the Runway is well capitalized to support the company’s growth and continues to deliver on its financial objectives. The company has received $126 million in funding.

Previously, O’Sullivan was a partner at SoftBank Capital where she led growth-stage venture capital investments in e-commerce, mobile applications, online advertising, gaming, and cloud computing. She also served as partner and chief operating officer for SoftBank China and India Holdings where she focused on early-stage investments in the U.S. and Asia. Prior to SoftBank, O’Sullivan was an investment banker at Robertson Stephens and Morgan Stanley.

As president of the events business, Sullivan will oversee profit and loss for the special occasion business and set the product roadmap. Previously, she worked at AOL as president of AOL.com and Lifestyle Brands, where she led all elements of the AOL.com experience including programming, product, and engineering, as well as overseeing strategy, partnerships, and operations.

Prior to this role, she was senior vice president of brand, marketing and communications at AOL, a role in which she managed brand development and led the global re-branding of AOL. She managed consumer marketing and media investments, as well as public relations, internal communications, and companywide CSR initiatives.

Beth Kaplan, who served as president and chief operating officer, will continue to play a strategic advisory role in the company as well as remain on Rent the Runway’s board.

As part of its TexCare 2015 show in Secaucus, N.J., the National Cleaners Association (NCA) organized a tour of Rent the Runway’s nearby production facility on Friday. Its 80,000-square-foot plant—which processes 2,000 dresses an hour—will be doubling in size within a few months to keep up with volume, Charles Ickes, Rent the Runway vice president of operations, told the tour group.

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