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We are working with Teavana in their search for a VP of Ecommerce based in Atlanta, GA. The firm is seeking an experienced VP of Ecommerce to join its team. This role is responsible for driving ecommerce sales and working with the rest of the executive team to drive the brand forward.

HARRY’S COMMENTS: Teavana is a specialty retailer of premium loose-leaf tea and tea accessories located primarily in high-end malls in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The firm was acquired by Starbucks in December 2012.

Although Teavana HR did not specifically address Starbucks’ motive for the acquisition, several industry analysts believe that the Teavana brand will be easy to export around the world. Incredibly, there are more Google searches for “teavana” than “tea,” and there’s a rabid and growing subculture of tea drinkers both at home and abroad.

Starbucks already owns the Tazo tea brand, while Teavana markets +100 varieties of tea and also sells tea accessories. Starbucks is well established in the far east where tea consumption is much more main stream than Western markets. Tea is also popular in the Middle East and in most of Europe.

In terms of Teanvana’s retail footprint, at the time of the acquisition Teavana had 301 company-owned stores in Canada and the U.S. plus 19 franchised stores in Mexico. Thus, at an acquisition price of $620 million, the price Starbucks paid per Teavana store was just $1.94 million per store.

What might this mean for Teavana’s Atlanta-based VP of Ecommerce?

The short answer is “It’s too soon to tell.” Yet there’s a reasonable possibility that, at least in the short- to mid-term, Starbucks will allow Teavana’s ecommerce business to operate as a profitable standalone channel which also serves to digitally enhance Teavana’s in-store merchandising efforts. My sources tell me that the Starbucks operating philosophy has been to focus on what it does best (like building brands; operating world-class retail stores; and new product development) – leaving its other stakeholders to do what they do best.

In Teavana’s case, DTC ecommerce appears to be one of those areas.

My kickoff call notes and industry research on this search are unusually robust, and I have a ton of proprietary intel on the FIVE MUST-HAVE ecommerce skills to win in this role. Additionally, I have some very candid information on the “Three ways the new hire could fail miserably in the role” plus a number of “first hundred day success factors” along with a bunch of raw data on the size and scope of this client’s ecommerce business.

You don’t want to miss these. Apply below.

Principle Responsibilities:

  • Drive the strategy of the websites, apps, microsites and online advertising for the company.
  • Responsible for all aspects of the ecommerce site and online marketing.
  • Manage the ecommerce division staff, including one director, creative staff, programmers and marketing and analytics employees.
  • Responsible for the full P&L of the division.
  • Develop business and financial plans for the ecommerce division and understand the growth and profit levers that can be used to drive the P&L.
  • Drive analysis and tracking of all marketing activities to insure they drive the company forward.
  • Work with the merchandising team and marketing team to make sure the brand is cohesively presented to the customer across all channels.
  • Manage all online advertising: paid search, organic, email, affiliate, banner, shopping engines, etc.
  • Document business goals and turn them into site objectives. Manage the development team to improve the site functionality and the conversion rate over time.
  • Manage relationships with outside service providers and determine when/if something should be outsourced versus managed inhouse.
  • Craft five year plans for the ecommerce division that include details on how you will achieve goals.
  • Report results to executive team on a weekly basis.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in marketing or business.
  • Prefer a Master’s Degree or MBA as well.


  • Online marketing background with skills in driving revenue through online marketing tactics.
  • Strategic thinker that can position the company for future growth of online sales.
  • Ability to integrate online and offline strategies to drive the core business forward.
  • Analytical mindset and understanding of retail metrics.
  • Detail-oriented personality and ability to handle multiple tasks/projects effectively.
  • Understand how to lead both programming staff and creative staff.
  • Good communicator and team player who works with the rest of the company to achieve results.


  • At least 8 years of experience working in an online marketing capacity for an ecommerce website.
  • Experienced manager of ecommerce personnel.
  • Experience managing P&L in growth businesses.
  • Deep understanding of ecommerce metrics, website functionality, and project management.
  • Strong understanding of online consumer behavior.
  • Experience with apps (iphone and android), mobile sites, and tablet ecommerce a plus.
  • Familiarity with Coremetrics, Ecometry (Escalate Retail), Mercent and/or Google Affiliate network is a significant plus.

Applications for this position are being coordinated by Harry Joiner. To apply, CLICK HERECandidates, please be sure to email Harry for a packet of market research and company / competitive intel that will differentiate you in your candidacy. Due to the intensely competitive nature of this search, thorough preparation for these interviews with this proprietary material is strongly recommended.

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