October 3, 2013, 10:45 AM

Groupon snags an Amazon Prime executive to lead operations

The daily-deal operator makes three other hires, including a former Quidsi exec.

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Groupon Inc. has hired an Amazon Inc. executive as the daily-deal operator’s senior vice president of operations. Robbie Schwietzer joins three other executives whom Groupon has  hired as it continues to diversify its business.

Schwietzer previously was vice president of Amazon Prime, the retailer’s loyalty program that provides two-day shipping on eligible items plus streamed access to TV shows and movies. His new job involves “all things related to improving the customer experience,” a Groupon spokesman tells Internet Retailer in announcing the hires today. In particular, he will focus on improving customer satisfaction in Groupon’s international markets. He will work from Seattle and report to Kal Raman, Groupon’s chief operating officer. Groupon is based in Chicago.

Schwietzer worked at Amazon for 10 years, during which time he held a variety of positions, including director of international retail, according to Groupon.

Groupon also hired Lisa Kennedy as a vice president and general manager of its high-end Groupon Reserve service, which lets consumers book tables and procure discounts for restaurants. She is based in New York and also reports to Raman.

Kennedy founded Hopscotch, an India-based daily-deal site that offers discounts on baby and children’s products From 2007 to 2011 she was executive vice president of e-commerce for Quidsi Inc., an Amazon.com Inc. subsidiary that operates Diapers.com, Soap.com and BeautyBar.com, according to her LinkedIn profile.

And, in a sign that Groupon wants to expand the number of home services-related deals it offers, the daily-deal operator has hired David Kerr as a vice president and general manager of home services. Groupon says Kerr will craft relationships with home-related merchants and service providers, as well as auto parts sellers and auto repair shops. Groupon wants Kerr to create a marketplace on Groupon.com where consumers can find, schedule and purchase deals from local service providers. Kerr works from Chicago and reports to Julie Szudarek, Groupon’s vice president and general manager of daily deals.

“We already have deals in this area, but we want to put more energy into it and build out our inventory,” says the spokesman.

Kerr worked as general manager of e-commerce for Angie’s List, an online source for reviews of contractors, doctors and other service providers, says Groupon.

Finally, Groupon named Hoke Horne vice president of global commercial finance. Groupon says he will oversee financial operations for its international businesses. He is based in Chicago and reports to Jason Child,  Groupon’s chief financial officer.

Horne was  vice president of software finance at Juniper Networks Inc., a provider of Internet routers and other networking products and service, says Groupon.

“We’re thrilled to bring Robbie, Lisa, David and Hoke and their incredible caliber of talent to Groupon,” says Eric Lefkofsky, Groupon CEO. “All four are well-regarded experts in their fields and will help take Groupon to the next level.”

Groupon is No. 65 in the Internet Retailer 2013 Top 500 Guide. Amazon is No. 1.

 

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