October 31, 2007, 12:00 AM

Blockbuster casts new CIO in a major e-commerce role

Blockbuster is beginning to consolidate its online operations under the parent company. All Blockbuster e-commerce programs also now report to chief information officer Keith Morrow.

Blockbuster Inc. is consolidating its e-commerce operation.

In the wake of the departure of Shane Evangelist, previously the senior vice president and general manager of Blockbuster Online, Blockbuster is beginning to consolidate its online operations under the parent company. All e-commerce operations for Blockbuster, No. 51 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, now will report to chief information officer Keith Morrow, who joined the company from 7-Eleven in September. Evangelist is the new CEO of U.S. Auto Parts Network Inc., No. 81 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.

“We have merged other online functions such as marketing where there was a redundancy with our online and stores group,” says a Blockbuster spokesman. “When we launched our online service, it made sense to have the group operate independently. Now it is time to integrate our online service into the mainstream Blockbuster organization to accomplish efficiencies, improved communication and a seamless customer experience across the Blockbuster brand.”

With an integrated e-commerce operation, Blockbuster plans to grow its number of online subscribers to about 4 million in 2007 from 2.2 million in 2006, the company says. “Our new corporate structure is designed to be more responsive to the marketplace and to ensure focus on our core competency, which is to provide convenient access to media entertainment all under one brand,” says the Blockbuster spokesman. In the second quarter, Blockbuster reported online movie rental revenue of $132.7 million, an increase of 127.6% from online movie rental revenue of $58.3 million the prior year, and 3.6 million subscribers. The company reports its third quarter numbers on Nov. 1.

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