While the social network isn’t doing away with its direct-sale initiative, it is focusing its attention on ads that drive consumers to retailers’ sites.
IAC/InterActiveCorp has named Jason Rapp, IAC’s senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions, as the new president and CEO of web shopping mall Gifts.com. He succeeds Gifts.com founder William Lynch, who will manage marketing for IAC’s HSN unit.
IAC/InterActiveCorp has named Jason Rapp, IAC’s senior vice president of mergers and acquisitions, as the new president and CEO of online shopping mall Gifts.com. He succeeds Gifts.com founder William Lynch, who will concentrate on managing marketing and content at IAC’s HSN unit, No. 25 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
Rapp joined IAC in 2006 from The New York Times Co. to identify, recommend and execute corporate mergers, acquisitions, investments and divestitures. His move to head up Gifts.com, one of IAC’s several online properties, comes as IAC plans to separate into five publicly traded companies: IAC, HSN, Ticketmaster, Interval International and LendingTree. The separation is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year.
IAC says it did not appoint Rapp to head up Gifts.com because of his experience in mergers and acquisitions and that there are no plans to add properties to Gifts.com. “That’s never out of the question, but there are no plans to do so with this appointment,” an IAC spokeswoman says. “Rapp was chosen because he understands IAC’s home-grown business strategy, how we run our businesses and how we look for best synergies among them.”
“Under William`s leadership, the company has grown tremendously-from concept to start-up success," Rapp says. "Now is the time to create sizeable and sustainable value and I look forward to working alongside the company`s outstanding team to do so."
Lynch founded Gifts.com for IAC in 2004 and served as its president and CEO since then. The site attracted more than 14 million unique visitors during last year’s holiday shopping season, IAC says.
In 2006, Lynch took on the dual role of running Gifts.com and managing operations at HSN.com, IAC’s online version of its HSN television shopping network. In his new role, Lynch will oversee marketing and content at HSN while continuing to manage HSN.com as executive vice president, marketing and content.
IAC’s online retail brands also include Shoebuy.com and the former Cornerstone Brands companies, including BallardDesigns.com, FrontGate.com, GarnettHill.com, ImprovementsCatalog.com, SmithandNoble.com, TerritoryAhead.com and Alsto.com.