Blue Nile Names New President and CEO

Blue Nile has named veteran retailer Harvey Kanter, 50, its new CEO and president, beginning March 30. He will also be appointed to the jewelry e-tailer’s board of directors.

Kanter replaces interim CEO Vijay Talwar, who has been appointed Blue Nile’s general manager and president of its international business. Blue Nile’s last permanent CEO, Diane Irvine, resigned in November.

Kanter will receive an annual base salary of $650,000 and will participate in the company’s bonus plan. He joins Blue Nile from Moosejaw Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel, a multi-channel retailer of premium outdoor apparel and gear, where he served as the president and CEO since January 2009. From April 2003 to June 2008, Kanter worked at various executive positions at Michaels Stores, eventually serving as executive vice president and managing director from March 2006 to June 2008. While at Michaels, Kanter also served as president of Aaron Brothers, Inc., a division of Michaels that offers custom framing.

From October 1995 to March 2003, Kanter served in various management positions at Eddie Bauer, including serving as the VP and managing director of Eddie Bauer Home.

Following declining sales and profits that caused its share price to drop precipitously, Blue Nile has undergone a company-wide review and will increase its fine jewelry offerings.

“I look forward to serving Blue Nile’s current and future diamond engagement ring and fine jewelry customers by adhering to the philosophy that has made the company great—offer tremendous value on fine jewelry created to the highest quality standards in a no-pressure, information-rich environment that places the customer in charge of the shopping process,” Kanter said in a statement.