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Fitbit Adds Two Women From Retail Industry to Board

Williams-Sonoma Founder Tells New CEO Alber To 'Make It BetterWilliams-Sonoma Founder Tells New CEO Alber To 'Make It Better
Laura Alber, president and chief executive officer of Williams-Sonoma Inc., joined the board of Fitbit.Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg/Getty Images

Fitbit added two women with deep experience in retailing to its board of directors on Wednesday.

Laura Alber, president and chief executive officer of Williams-Sonoma, and Glenda Flanagan, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Whole Foods Market, joined the board effective immediately, the company said in a release.

As the leading maker of health and activity tracking bands, Fitbit (FIT) has shown strength. But sales growth has slowed somewhat and investors have grown increasingly concerned about the competitive threat posed by Apple (AAPL).

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The new additions to the board should bolster the company’s expertise in sales and help advise CEO James Park on positioning new products and expanding availability.

“Laura and Glenda each bring a wealth of experience driving the growth and transformation of leading consumer and health-related brands,” Park said in a statement. “Their insight, experience, and leadership will help guide us as we continue our global expansion and evolution as a leading consumer health platform and brand.”

Alber has been running kitchen retailer Williams-Sonoma (WSM) since 2010. Flanagan joined supermarket chain Whole Foods (WFM) in 1988.

How Fitbit’s James Park Avoids the Competition

Shares of Fitbit, which remain 27% below the company’s initial public offering price of $20 last year, gained 2% to close at $14.51 on Wednesday.

Fitbit reported that sales increased 50% to $505 million in the first quarter, beating analyst expectations by a wide margin, but the company’s stock price still dropped sharply as the company also forecast lower second quarter profit than Wall Street expected.

CEO Park explained the second quarter profit shortfall was due to spending more in the short term on research and development for several upcoming new products and increasing the company’s marketing push outside of the United States, where fewer people already wear a fitness tracker.