ShopRunner hires online dating exec Sam Yagan as CEO

July 18, 2016 02:51 PM

ShopRunner Inc. has a new CEO, courtesy of an online dating service.

Sam Yagan has been named CEO of the members-only online shopping and shipping service. He had most recently been CEO of online dating conglomerate Match Group Inc., a position he left in December shortly after the company raised $460 million in its November IPO.  

ShopRunner charges shoppers $79 for an annual membership or $8.95 for a monthly membership in exchange for discounts on select products and unlimited two-day shipping on items purchased from the more than 150 e-retailers in its network, which include  Staples Inc. (No. 5 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide), Newegg Inc. (No. 17) and Neiman Marcus (No. 36). ShopRunner also has an arrangement with American Express whereby some cardholders get a free membership. ShopRunner says it had about 3 million consumers as members at the end of 2015.

Yagan, who remains on Match Group’s board, co-founded online dating service OkCupid in 2003, which was acquired by Match Group in 2011. Yagan also has served on the digital advisory council for Target Corp. (No. 22).

“Under Sam's leadership, we will have our eyes set on pushing gross merchandise sales on the ShopRunner network well into the billions," Michael Rubin, CEO of ShopRunner parent Kynetic Inc., says. “Bringing in Sam's expertise in building consumer brands, driving customer acquisition and leveraging unique data assets will accelerate ShopRunner's existing momentum.”

Yagan has a history of using insights derived from data to build business. He spoke on the main stage at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition in 2012, when he was CEO of OkCupid, and shared the similarities between searching online for a date and online shopping. He said retailers could use OkCupid’s model to determine what a shopper wants, not, however, by what she says she wants, but by her actions. For OkCupid, that is the profiles she has viewed, the photos she has clicked on and the messages she has sent. Sometimes the actions the user takes showed OkCupid that she is interested in people who don’t meet her stated requirements. “It’s all about showing the right products to the right people,” Yagan said.Yagan replaces Scott Thompson, who became CEO in July 2012 and is leaving to pursue other ventures, ShopRunner says. Prior to joining ShopRunner, Thompson had been CEO of search giant Yahoo Inc., a position he resigned from after four months on the job at the request of Yahoo’s board after investors questioned whether he had lied about his college record on his resume.




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