Burberry hires a CIO away from Wal-Mart Asia

October 12, 2015 01:35 PM

Apparel and accessories manufacturer Burberry Plc has a new top technology executive.

Burberry, No. 360 in the Internet Retailer 2015 Top 500 Guide and No. 210 in the 2015 Europe 500, has named Fumbi Chima as its chief information officer. Chima will begin work at Burberry in November and report to chief operating officer John Smith. 

“The role oversees Burberry’s technology division that is central to the company’s strategic development,” Smith says. 

Chima comes to Burberry with an extensive background in e-commerce. Prior to joining Burberry, Chima served as corporate vice president and CIO for Wal-Mart Asia. She joined Wal-Mart Stores Inc. in 2010 and worked initially as the retailer’s corporate vice president of application development, according to her profile on LinkedIn . In 2012 she moved into a more global position, serving as Wal-Mart’s corporate vice president and global head of international integrations. In 2014 she was appointed CIO of Wal-Mart Asia and was based in Hong Kong. 

Prior to Wal-Mart, Chima also worked as regional CIO for global finance for American Express and as a senior vice president working on various aspects of systems integration for JP Morgan Chase. 

Chima joins Burberry at a time when the luxury goods manufacturer of outerwear, fashion accessories, fragrances, sunglasses and cosmetics, is looking to grow its e-commerce base and expand further into Asia and China. Burberry increased its U.S. e-commerce sales 19.2% to an Internet Retailer estimated $51.0 million in 2014 and in Europe 26% to an Internet Retailer-estimated $92.7 million for the same year. 

In July, Burberry reported it had upgraded its e-commerce system in China so that its retail locations and online store can share inventory. That upgrade allows store employees equipped with iPads to place orders from online stock if a store doesn’t have the item a shopper wants, and it enables online shoppers to pick up an order in any physical store.  

The United Kingdom-based luxury retailer says this project improves product availability online and in-store, and has reduced delivery times in China, one of its most significant markets. China was Burberry’s fastest growing e-commerce market in 2014. The company, No. 368 in the Internet Retailer 2015 China 500, grew web sales 45.5% to an Internet Retailer estimated $12.6 million in 2014 and for all of Asia grew web sales 36.7% to an Internet Retailer-estimated $15.9 million. Burberry is No. 375 in the 2015 Asia 500.




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