October 5, 2009, 12:00 AM

HSN names a new CEO for Cornerstone

HSN has named Mark Ethier as CEO of its faltering Cornerstone business unit, which includes seven direct marketing brands such as Ballard Designs and TravelSmith. E-commerce sales in Q2 for Cornerstone fell 15.3% to $100.4 million.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

HSN Inc. has appointed a new executive as the next step in turning around its Cornerstone unit.

HSN, No. 26 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, has named Mark Ethier as CEO of Cornerstone, which includes seven direct marketing brands such as Ballard Designs, TravelSmith and Smith+Noble. Ethier, who will report directly to HSN CEO Mindy Grossman, previously was an HSN executive vice president and chief operations officer.

Ethier was named chief operations officer in 2004 and was responsible for operations across HSN, HSN.com and Cornerstone, including customer care, fulfillment, logistics, quality assurance, information technology and administration. From 2001 to 2004, Ethier served as executive vice president of operations.

Prior to joining HSN, Ethier worked at the Walt Disney Co. as senior vice president of global operations at The Disney Stores.

A weak performance from Cornerstone was the biggest contributing factor to a decline in total web sales for HSN in the second quarter. Total Q2 web sales decreased 7.7% to $229.3 million from $248.5 million in the prior year. Web sales for HSN.com decreased 0.8% to $128.9 million from $129.9 million while e-commerce revenue for Cornerstone Brands decreased 15.3% to $100.4 million from $118.6 million. Net sales for HSN totaled $454.2 million, down 1.5% from $460.9 million in Q2 of 2008. Net sales for Cornerstone Brands declined year over year 20.9% from $234.9 million to $185.9 million.

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