Latin America E-tailer Dafiti Seeks New CEO in Reshuffle

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James Fallon and Ivan Castano
·2 min read
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MEXICO CITY Dafiti Group, a subsidiary of Global Fashion Group, is seeking a new chief executive officer following the departure of CEO and cofounder Philipp Povel and the other cofounder, Malte Huffman, for what the e-tailer said are personal reasons.

The company appointed Brazil chief operating officer and chief financial officer Sergio Silvestre as interim CEO, Camilo Rueda, CEO of Dafiti in Argentina Colombia and Chile, told WWD. “They are going back to Germany as they are German,” he said of the cofounders. “We will be looking for a new CEO for the whole group.”

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Dafiti, which counts Lacoste and Ralph Lauren as two of its marquee brands, also named Alfredo Leyton as Chile CEO last week. Leyton left rival Linio, owned by Chilean department-store network Falabella, to take the new post.

Povel and Huffman said the need to focus on their families after 10 years at Dafiti motivated their departure.

“We started Dafiti in 2011 with the ambition of becoming the leading online fashion destination in LatAm,” the executives said in a statement Thursday. “Ten years on, we are incredibly proud of the business we have built on the back of that vision…but we now feel it is time to focus on personal priorities, in particular our young families.”

Dafiti-owner Global Fashion Group, which runs fashion sites in the emerging markets, said it hopes to name a new Dafiti CEO by May, when it will also propose that Povel becomes a member of Luxembourg-based GFG’s management board.

Silvestre has been instrumental in the pursuit of Dafiti’s Brazilian expansion, notably that of a new logistics warehouse the online merchant claims is Latin America’s largest.

The new site outside São Paulo will sharply boost automation, helping to more rapidly deliver products to five million customers and 1,000 brand partners. Measuring roughly 30 soccer fields, the site’s sorting and picking activities take two hours, compared to 24 hours before, executives said during the launch in February. The facility can process 450,000 boxes through 300 robots.

GFC spent 50 million euros to build the site to speed up delivery to customers and 1,000 brand partners as competition from Mercado Libre and Amazon intensifies.

Initially launched as a team of four, Dafiti now employs 3,700 people across Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Colombia. It has 7.7 million active customers and was on track to post a 30 percent jump in sales to 725 million euros or $864 million at current exchange last year.

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