QVC, Inc. said that Claire Watts will join the company effective Jan. 7, 2008, and will assume the role of president, U.S. Commerce, effective May 1, 2008.
Watts joins QVC with 25 years of broad retail and merchandising experience with industry leaders in the department store, specialty, catalog, and mass segments.
She began her career in the May Company’s Executive Training Program. Watts then served in senior merchandising and product roles at Paul Harris, The Limited and Lands’ End. She spent the past ten years with Wal-Mart in various executive positions, most recently serving as executive vice president of Merchandising. Her experience in this role included apparel, jewelry, accessories, and home product categories.
In her new position as president, U.S. Commerce, Watts will oversee Planning, Programming, Merchandising, Broadcasting, TV Sales, and QVC.com for the U.S. operation. She will play a key role in extending the QVC brand among existing and new customers and driving growth across all platforms.
“Claire brings a wealth of experience from multiple sectors of retailing and has an in-depth understanding of consumers,” said QVC’s president and chief executive officer, Mike George, to whom Watts will report. “Her ability to lead in an open, honest, values-based environment, combined with her innovation and creativity, will undoubtedly have a positive impact on the QVC business.”
According to Watts, “QVC’s unique approach and multimedia platform represents the future of retailing. I’m anxious to join the QVC team whose passion for the business is unlike any I’ve seen in the retail sector.”
While at Wal-Mart, Watts was awarded the highest honor given at the company—the Sam M. Walton Entrepreneur of the Year Award. This honor is awarded by the Walton family to an associate who most embodies the leadership and values of Sam Walton. Watts, who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, was named one of Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women” in 2004, 2005, and 2006.