NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Saks has appointed NBA All-Star, entrepreneur and investor, James Harden, as an independent member of its board. Mr. Harden, who has made a minority investment in the company, brings expertise in helping to grow high-potential consumer brands combined with a unique perspective as a notable fashion enthusiast. His appointment marks the latest milestone of Saks’ strategy to become the preeminent luxury ecommerce platform.
Mr. Harden is a leading American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball Association. In addition, he has a proven track record as a successful investor and forward-thinking entrepreneur focused on consumer, sports and entertainment businesses. His portfolio includes minority ownership of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Houston Dash, as well as stakes in various brands, including Therabody, BodyArmor, Art of Sport, Stance and Pura, where he serves as Creative Director. Mr. Harden is also the founder of Thirteen, a Houston-based fine dining restaurant.
Saks’ Executive Chairman, Richard Baker said, “As we work to build this new board, James is an important and valuable addition. With experience in growing businesses and as someone who values self-expression through fashion, I am confident that he will bring a distinct point of view that will help us better deliver for our customers. His expertise, combined with that of our other board members, will enable Saks to further capitalize on the significant growth opportunity within luxury ecommerce.”
Mr. Harden added, “I am honored to join the Saks board and to be a part of a company that is paving the future of luxury retail. This is an exciting opportunity for me to combine two of my personal passions – a love of fashion and teaming up with brands that have the potential to lead while making an impact on the communities they serve. I look forward to working with the Saks team, and to having a direct impact on the company’s future success, the fashion community and its customers.”
Additional Board Members
In addition to Mr. Harden, Deven Parekh and Adam Berger of Insight Partners, a leading growth capital investor and a minority shareholder in Saks, and Franz-Ferdinand Buerstedde of Rhône Capital, have been appointed as board members. Mr. Harden, Mr. Parekh, Mr. Berger and Mr. Buerstedde join Mr. Baker, Marc Metrick, CEO of Saks, and Sebastian Gunningham, a strategic advisor to the company, as board members.
Mr. Metrick said, “Saks is poised to be the leader in luxury ecommerce and we have a significant opportunity as a standalone company. With our rapid growth strategy coupled with the unique perspectives of our board members, I look forward to working together to help drive Saks into the future.”
Mr. Parekh is a Managing Director at Insight Partners, where he manages investments in application software, data and consumer internet businesses. Mr. Parekh is a global investor, having actively worked with investments in Europe, Israel, China, India, Latin America and Russia. He also currently serves as Board Chair for Appriss and EveryAction, and is a member of the Board of Directors for several ecommerce and technology companies, including Fanatics, Checkout.com, Vinted and Calm.
Mr. Berger has an extensive track record in building software and marketing-driven companies, currently serving as a Managing Director at Insight Partners. Prior to joining Insight, Mr. Berger served as Chairman and CEO of Digital Room Incorporated. He also currently serves as Chairman of Achieve3000, Illuminate, PDI Software and Campaign Monitor, and as Executive Chairman of Optimizely.
Mr. Buerstedde is a Managing Director at Rhône Capital, where he is active in the sourcing, execution and monitoring of investments in the business services, consumer, energy and general industrial sectors. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of HBC, Neovia Logistics and Rexair.
Saks is the premier luxury ecommerce platform, driven by a mission to help customers express themselves through relevant and inspiring style. Through its website and app, Saks offers a highly personalized experience and an expertly curated assortment of fashion, as well as professional stylists and fresh editorial content. The company is redefining luxury shopping with a digital-first service model and a seamless connection to an extraordinary network of 40 Saks Fifth Avenue stores across North America.
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