Follett promotes a veteran exec to chief digital officer

August 15, 2016 02:07 PM

Follett Higher Education has become the latest retailer to add a chief digital officer.

Follett, No. 70 in the Internet Retailer 2016 Top 500 Guide, promoted Roe McFarlane, its top e-commerce executive,  to the newly created role late last week. McFarlane will oversee all e-commerce and digital advertising. He joined Follett in May 2013 from DVD rental company Redbox Automated Retail LLC as senior vice president of omnichannel marketing, e-commerce and digital product management.

According to, the educational products retailer has grown its online sales by 19.9% during McFarlane’s tenure to an Internet Retailer-estimated $563.5 million last year, up from $470.0 million in 2013.

"Led by Roe, our digital team has done a great job keeping pace with fast-changing technology and shifting customer expectations," says Follett Corp. president and CEO Ray Griffith. "I'm confident that the positive momentum behind FHEG's digital strategy and its value to the institutions we serve will continue to grow and accelerate under Roe's expanded leadership."

Follett is one of a growing number of retailers to create a chief digital officer position within their organizational structure. Among them:

  • Target Corp. (No. 22), which in May promoted Jason Goldberger to the newly-created position.
  • Nike Inc. (No. 47), which promoted Adam Sussman to the role in February.
  • Vitamin Shoppe (No. 215), which hired retail veteran Rose Hamilton to be its first chief digital officer last November.

For more on how e-commerce positions are growing in importance within retail organizational structures, you can check out this story from the June edition of Internet Retailer magazine.




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