Nasty Gal’s 30-Year-Old CEO Explains Why She Suddenly Stepped Down

Nasty Gal’s 30-year-old CEO explains why she suddenly stepped down

Nasty Gal founder and CEO Sophia Amoruso surprised many people by handing over her title on Monday. The company’s president Sheree Waterson will take over as CEO. Amoruso will stay on as executive chairman.

In a blog post on the company’s website, Amoruso, 30, explained why she stepped down as CEO. Amoruso explains that while she wants to stay involved at the brand, Waterson has the operational experience needed to handle the growing business.

In her words, here’s why she decided to step down.

“Today is a big day at Nasty Gal. Over the course of the past year, it’s become evident that I am the brand connector — both to the world at large, to influential individuals and organizations, and to our customer. And it’s also become resolutely clear that I and Nasty Gal are ready for a move I’ve been thinking about for going on two years now. As you know, part of being a #GIRLBOSS (and just a decent human being) is about playing to your strengths. I’ve been wondering for a while now if the CEO role is one that I want – and the one that I’m best at. 

When I hired Sheree Waterson a year or so ago, I hired a CEO. I wasn’t sure if the day would come that I was 1000% certain that my role would evolve the way it has (and it has) or that Sheree would be as incredible of a partner to me as she has. But that day has come.

I’m not sure if you guys saw yesterday’s New York Times Style Section, but if you did, you were probably as surprised as I was. My face was on the cover, next to Diane Von Furstenberg and Tim Gunn, with the headline “America’s Next Top Mentor.” Holy shit. The world is conspiring in our favor.

Mentorship is the word of the moment here at Nasty Gal. But it’s more than a word. It’s our commitment. What I’m excited to announce today is that I’m setting myself up to mentor our incredible customer and to evolve our customer vision, voice, and experience while at the same time setting Sheree up to mentor our team (and sometimes me), and to lead our business, as Nasty Gal’s new CEO.

I’ve never witnessed, let alone worked with, a leader as inspiring as Sheree. And those of us at Nasty Gal who have had the privilege of spending time with her agree. Sheree is someone who has the experience, ability, and drive to attack our future with a four-pronged approach with elements that have never been combined in all of Nasty Gal’s history – art, commerce, purpose, and leadership. 

I see this new partnership working very similarly to how my friend Natalie Massenet, the Founder of Net-a-Porter, operates. She has had a CEO for quite some time, while remaining the Founder and Executive Chairman. Natalie bleeds Net-a-Porter as I bleed Nasty Gal. I, our customer, want you to know that I’m not going anywhere.

My entire youth has been Nasty Gal. My entire future is Nasty Gal. This is a choice that will give our team, and our business, legs. And it will give me the freedom to feel that I’m using my talents at my best and highest. And for Sheree, this will unleash her incredible talent and leadership across an organization that has never been so ready.

Creative and Brand Marketing will continue to report to me, and Finance, Tech, and HR will report to Sheree along with her existing teams in Design, Merch, Production, and Planning. I’m excited about this, our executive team is excited about this, and I hope you are too.



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