Who owns Wayfair CEO
Wayfair’s Cofounders Are Billionaires Again After Stock Skyrockets. Wayfair cofounders Steve Conine and Niraj Shah saw their stakes in the company jump by $229 million.
As much of the retail industry reels from the coronavirus pandemic, Wayfair’s cofounders have apparently sold enough office chairs, cooking gadgets, and playroom furniture to housebound Americans to rejoin the billionaire club.
The online furniture retailer said on Monday that revenue surged about 40% in March and early April—when most American families have been spending much more time at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shares jumped in lockstep and recorded a 41% gain.
That was welcome news for cofounders Niraj Shah and Steve Conine, who each own about 11.6 million shares, according to filings.
The value of those holdings jumped by $229 million in one day, and both are now sitting on a stake worth $831 million. Combined with cash and investments, Forbes estimates that each has a fortune of $1 billion.
What is Wayfair?
Wayfair Inc. is an American e-commerce company that sells furniture and home goods. Formerly known as CSN Stores, the company was founded in 2002. Their digital platform offers 14 million items from more than 11,000 global suppliers.
The online company is headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Wayfair has offices and warehouses throughout the United States as well as in Canada, Germany, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.
Wayfair operates five branded retail websites: the main Wayfair site, Joss & Main, AllModern, Birch Lane, and Perigold.
History 2002 to 2006:
Entrepreneurs Niraj Shah and Steve Conine founded Wayfair in August 2002, as a two-person company with a makeshift headquarters in Conine’s nursery, in Boston, Massachusetts. Both Shah and Conine hold Bachelor of Science degrees from Cornell University. The pair had run two previous companies—Simplify Mobile and iXL, a global consulting firm—before starting Wayfair.
As of December 2018, Shah is the chief executive officer, and Shah and Conine share the chairman position. Originally known as CSN Stores (the name is derived from a mix of Shah and Conine’s initials), the company began with the website racksandstands.com, selling media stands and storage furniture.
In 2003, the company added patio and garden goods suppliers, three online stores, and more than a dozen employees, and relocated the headquarters into an office on Newbury Street, in Boston.
Over the next two years, the company expanded its catalog to include home décor; office, institutional, and kitchen, and dining furniture and materials, home improvement goods; bed and bath materials; luggage; and lighting. In 2006, the company earned $100 million in sales.
2007 to 2010
For the next four years, the company expanded in the United States and in international markets.
In 2008, CSN Stores began shipping to Canada and selling in the United Kingdom and opened an office in London. In the same year, the Boston Business Journal ranked the company the #1 fastest-growing private e-commerce company in Massachusetts, and the #4 fastest-growing private company overall.
Friends, in 2009, the company expanded to Germany. In 2010, the company relocated its headquarters to 177 Huntington Avenue, where they occupied 10 floors. At the end of that year, the company launched Joss & Main, a members-only private sales online store.
2011 to 2019
By 2011, CSN Stores owned over 200 online shops, largely niche shops for specific products, like cookware.com, everyatomicclock.com, and strollers.com.
In an effort to scale, to direct traffic to a single site, and to unify the aesthetic of the company, Shah and Conine rebranded CSN Stores as Wayfair. Wayfair, as a company name, has no real meaning; it was chosen by a brand firm.
To market the new brand and to increase its expansion, in June 2011 the company raised $165 million in funding from four investment firms: Battery Ventures, Great Hill Partners, HarbourVest Partners, and Spark Capital.
Wayfair.com launched on September 1, 2011. As of July 2012, Wayfair had consolidated all of its niche websites, with the exception of Joss & Main and AllModern, into Wayfair.com.
In August 2012, Wayfair launched Wayfair Supply, a single destination for Wayfair’s business, government, and institutional customers.
In August 2013, Wayfair acquired DwellStudio, a New York City-based design house and retailer focused on modern home and family furnishings.
Choosing a name
The company name of Wayfair was chosen by a marketing agency that combined two words that tested well with focus groups, with no particular inspiration behind it.
On June 25, 2019, Wayfair employees announced plans to walk out in protest of a BCFS contract to sell beds to temporary migrant detention camps in a letter to senior management, including Niraj Shah and Steve Conine.
Wayfair leadership responded indicating they would not terminate the order and did not indicate they would donate the profit from the order (approximately $86,000) to charity, as the letter requested.
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed her support for the employees and the walkout. On June 26, 2019, several hundred Wayfair employees walked out.
In late October 2019, the company announced it had hired 1,500 people in the last quarter, had a net loss of $272 million, and a revenue increase of 36 percent over the previous year.
Who owns Wayfair CEO?
It’s a sudden resurgence for the duo, who have been knocked from the billionaire ranks as the stock collapsed by 67% in the last 12 months.
Wayfair, which long relied on investors who were willing to spend heavily in pursuit of growth, has faced increased pressure recently over mounting losses. In February, it laid off 550 employees.
However, the coronavirus pandemic appears to be giving it a much-needed boost as people look to upgrade their living spaces—considering they’re spending practically 24 hours a day inside.
It said on Monday it has made “solid early progress” on initiatives to improve profitability. It also reported sales were up 20% in January and February, which surpassed its guidance of 15 to 17% growth.
“We believe Wayfair is gaining share from retailers that are currently focusing on essentials (Walmart, Target, Amazon) and retailers that had to close stores (Bed Bath, Williams-Sonoma, RH),” wrote Evercore ISI analyst Oliver Wintermantel in a note to clients.
Who owns Wayfair CEO?
1. Niraj Shah
“Niraj has been included in Fortune Magazine’s 40 Under 40, and has won the Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award,” his bio reads.
“He also serves on the board of Massachusetts Competitive Partnership, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.”
|Born||1973/1974 (age 46–47)|
|Known for||Co-founder, co-chairman & CEO, Wayfair|
|Net worth||$3.6 billion (October 2020)|
|Board member of||Wayfair|
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
The company has been plagued by unfounded child sex trafficking accusations on social media, but Shah remains in his post. The conspiracy theory had led many people to believe that Shah had resigned.
“The products in question are industrial grade cabinets that are accurately priced.
“Recognizing that the photos and descriptions provided by the supplier did not adequately explain the high price point, we have temporarily removed the products from site to rename them and to provide a more in-depth description and photos that accurately depict the product to clarify the price point.”
Shah grew up in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the son of immigrants from India. His grandfather ran a “steel manufacturing business in India, making pots and pans”.
His father worked for General Electric as a mechanical engineer, and after his retirement, joined Wayfair early on, providing financial advice, and still works for the company.
Shah graduated from Cornell University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1995.
Shah co-founded Wayfair in 2002 with his Cornell classmate, Steve Conine, and has been its CEO since its inception. Niraj Shah was included in the Fortune list of “40 under 40” for 2013.
In 2017, Shah became a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. In May 2017, Wayfair’s share price rose above $70 per share, making Shah and his co-founder Steve Conine both billionaires. As of 2019, each had an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion.
Niraj Shah is a board director, and wife Jill Shah is the president. There have been claims of child sexual abuse at chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America across the nation in recent years.
Reports of sexual abuse have surfaced at Boys & Girls Clubs in Connecticut, New York, New Hampshire, Virginia, Illinois, Oregon, Nevada, California, and Hawaii, according to The Associated Press.
Shah is married to Jill Shah; they have two children and live in the Back Bay area of Boston. In 2013, Jill Shah sold her alternative medicine directory Jill’s List, which employed 7 people, to California-based MINDBODY, and now runs their Boston office.
2. Steve Conine
Steven K. Conine (born 1972/73) is an American billionaire businessman and the co-chairman and co-founder (with Niraj Shah) of the online retailer Wayfair. His company Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online destinations for home furnishings, housewares, home improvement goods, and more.
- Spouse: Alexi Conine
- Net worth: 3.9 billion USD (2021) Forbes
- Children: 3
- Born: Steven K. Conine; 1972/1973 (age 47–48)
- Known for: Co-founder and co-chairman, Wayfair
- Siblings: Sarah Conine
Raised in the New Vernon section of Harding Township, New Jersey, Conine spent some time during his teens working at a pair of outdoor furniture stores his mother operated.
Conine graduated from Delbarton School in 1991. He went on to attend Cornell University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1995.
Conine co-founded Wayfair in 2002 and is the co-chairman of the board. In May 2017, Wayfair’s share price rose above $70 per share, making Conine and his co-founder Niraj Shah both billionaires. As of 2019, each had an estimated net worth of $2.3 billion.
Conine is married to Alexi, they have three children and live in Boston, Massachusetts. They have a holiday home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Who owns Wayfair CEO?