Private investment firm Comvest Partners acquires the financially troubled e-retailer, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in March.
Formerly of Warner Music, Michael Fleisher led an IPO for a consultancy.
Wayfair LLC is considering an initial public offering and has made a major hire that could help the web-only housewares and home furnishings retailer raise capital. Michael Fleisher becomes chief financial officer after working as vice chairman, strategy and operations, for Warner Music Group. Previously, as CEO of consultancy Gartner Inc., he led its IPO.
Wayfair, No. 52 in Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, would not say when it might launch its IPO. “We are not currently working on an IPO, but we do foresee that in the plans as we look to the future,” says a Wayfair spokeswomen. She points to Wayfair’s acquisition this summer of DwellStudio, an e-retailer specializing in home décor products, its Joss & Main flash-sale site for home furnishings and some of the recent initiatives that have boosted consumer awareness of Wayfair and its brands. “We are seeing that work well, and there is no question that an IPO would further raise consumer awareness of Wayfair,” she says.
The e-retailer launched in 2002 as CSN Stores LLC before becoming Wayfair in 2011. Earlier this year, Wayfair launched daily deals after raising $36 million in December 2012. That followed a $165 million funding round in June 2011.
Fleisher worked for Warner from 2005 until 2011, including as executive vice president and chief financial officer for the music and entertainment company. He started at Gartner in 1998 as chief financial officer, according to his LinkedIn profile. Before that, he worked for private equity firm Bain Capital.
"In addition to bringing a strong and seasoned voice to our executive management team, we are confident that Michael's impressive track record and unrivaled expertise in public markets, mergers and acquisitions, and strategy will help us achieve our long term goals,” says Wayfair CEO and co-founder Niraj Shah.
Previous Wayfair chief financial officer Nicholas Malone becomes the retailer’s chief administration officer, a job with oversight of finance, legal, human resources and real estate. Malone reports to Fleisher.