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Amazon Just Lost This Key Executive

May 04, 2017

Amazon is losing an executive in a key area of its e-commerce business: fashion.

Cathy Beaudoin, an eight-year veteran of the company and the person in charge of its fashion vertical, is leaving the e-commerce juggernaut.

"Given the momentum of the business and strength of the team, she’s decided now is the right time to pass the baton," Amazon said in a statement.

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Under Beaudoin's direction, Amazon (amzn) has been trying to push into the fashion world to draw more customers to its already massive marketplace. For example, it acquired fashion sites Shopbop, MyHabit, and East Dane. It also debuted a live, daily show last year dedicated to fashion and beauty called Style Code Live. In 2012, Amazon partnered with Vogue Magazine and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to sponsor the Met's lavish and star-studded annual costume and fashion gala.

Amazon has also been developing its own private-label fashion lines, becoming more like a traditional retailer. The company launched seven-in house lines, including women's apparel. In the quarter ending Dec. 31, Amazon sold more than 60 million clothing items.

Not all high-end fashion brands have been on board with selling on Amazon. Last year, the chief financial officer of luxury fashion and goods conglomerate LVMH, which owns Dior and Fendi, said there was "no way" it would sell its products on Amazon's marketplace, because the e-commerce marketplace's business model did not cater to luxury brands.

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Last week, Amazon ramped up its effort in fashion by debuting a new device, the Echo Look, aimed at the fashion-forward crowd. The Echo Look lets users take selfies of themselves without having to use their phone's camera. It also comes with a new service, Style Check, that can compare two photos of what you're wearing and then, using artificial intelligence, tell you which outfit looks better.

There was no word on where Beaudoin, who joined Amazon from clothing retailer Gap, is headed next or a reason for her departure. Amazon said it would name a successor soon.

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