Sophia Amoruso, founder of fashion site Nasty Gal, is stepping down from her CEO role, the company revealed today in an interview with Re/code.
Amoruso founded the LA-based company in 2006 and eventually built it into one of the fastest-growing online retailers. But she became a more high-profile leader with the release of her popular business book #GirlBoss, which became a rallying call for workplace equality. In stepping down, the CEO role will go to former company president Sheree Waterson, who will also join the company’s board along with Amoruso and Index Ventures partner Danny Rimer. Amoruso will stay on as executive chairman.
As she revealed in an in-depth interview with Fast Company last year, Amoruso built the company up from the ground up, starting it as an eBay store, and managing to grow it into an ultra-chic brand with more than $100 million in annual revenue.
Amoruso indicated it was her decision to step down from the role, as the business continues to mature. “I actually see myself as support to Sophia so we can unleash her genius,” Waterson told Re/code, regarding the transition. “Taking over the operation of the company allows Sophia to be out and connecting the brand with our customer and all the other amazing people she meets.”
However, Nasty Gal is coming off a difficult 2014, when it let go of 10% of its workforce and saw revenue growth begin to slow. (Inevitably, there has been some measure of internal dissension, if recent comments on job-advice website Glassdoor.com are to be trusted.)
Waterson takes over as CEO with a more traditional background in running a company, having spent time at both Speedo and Levi’s. She was also chief product officer at Lululemon—a post she left in 2013 after controversy regarding the transparency of one line of the company’s yoga pants.