In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
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Great history, loyal customers
Friedlich, who knew Shapiro from past projects, including working with DoubleClick to develop the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.com, says that Shapiro brings more than just insight into marketing and technology to his new job. “He has tremendous personal leadership qualities,” he says. “He seems to have taken on his new role seamlessly and his track record during the six months that he was a consultant to Lillian Vernon has been very encouraging.”
And while Zelnick was impressed with Shapiro’s credentials, Shapiro was excited by the opportunity that Lillian Vernon presented. “Here is a company that provides a real opportunity. It has a great history and a strong, loyal customer base,” he says. “It just needs to broaden that customer base by marketing more effectively.”
To do that, however, Lillian Vernon will need management that understands the intricate details of Internet-based marketing but won’t abandon the needs of the catalog side as well. The people who know him think that person might just be Jonathan Shapiro.
Lauri Giesen is a Libertyville, Ill.-based freelance business writer.