In its second-largest acquisition, Amazon buys the company for $970 million.
Mike Steib will lead the French luxury e-retailer’s joint venture with AmEx.
American Express Co. and French private sale e-retailer Vente-Privee.com announced today the hiring of a former Google executive to lead the French company’s U.S. business. The companies say the private sale e-retail joint-venture will launch by the end of 2011 and be led by Mike Steib as CEO. Steib most recently was Google Inc.’s director of video advertising for the Americas.
AmEx and Vente-Privee executives say they hired Steib because of his technical knowledge and track record at leveraging data and analytics to build new businesses, which is the strategy Vente-Privee intends to take in breaking into the U.S. market. Under the terms of the partnership, the payment card network will provide the private sale e-retailer with access to its entire membership database, and Vente-Privee will bring its knowledge of e-retailing, customer service and brand partnerships.
"Our business is built upon creating a rich online shopping experience and developing deep relationships with our brand partners,” says Jacques-Antoine Granjon, CEO and founder of Vente-Privee.com. “Mike has exactly the right mix of technology background and relationship building that we need to launch and grow Vente-Privee.com in the U.S."
Prior to joining Google, Steib was general manager of strategic ventures at NBC Universal, where he led the creation of digital businesses, the companies say. Prior to NBC Universal, he worked on new media businesses at Walker Digital and as a management consultant at McKinsey & Co.
"I'm thrilled to have such a remarkable opportunity to launch and build this new e-commerce venture backed by two of the world's most respected, service-oriented brands," Steib says. "This is a transformative time in the development of commerce and the Internet, and I am confident that our venture will provide consumers and brands a unique offering in the U.S. market."
Vente-Privee has operated in the private sale market since 2001 and says it has 13 million members in seven countries. It is No. 14 in the Internet Retailer Top 300 Europe Guide.