Harvey Kanter has been hired as the new president and CEO of Seattle online jewelry retailer Blue Nile. In the role, the former CEO of Moosejaw Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel will attempt to return some of the luster to Blue Nile which has lost 35 percent of its value in the past year.
He replaces Diane Irvine who announced her resignation as CEO last November.
“Harvey brings a vibrant leadership style and a unique ability to align product strategy and marketing in such a way that inspires consumers,” said Blue Nile Chairman Mark Vadon in a statement. “His dynamism and passion, coupled with his experience in online and traditional retail, are just what we need to drive growth and inspire the next generation of Blue Nile customers.”
Kanter, who is also joining the company’s board, will be well compensated. He will earn a base salary of $650,000 and receive an $100,000 signing bonus, as well as relocation expenses. He will also receive stock options to purchase 154,500 shares of Blue Nile’s common stock.
Prior to Moosejaw Mountaineering, Kanter served as vice president and managing director of Michaels Stores. He also previously worked at Eddie Bauer and Sears.
“As I lead the company through its next phase of growth, I look forward to serving Blue Nile’s current and future diamond engagement ring and fine jewelry customers by adhering to the philosophy that has made the company great — offer tremendous value on fine jewelry created to the highest quality standards in a no-pressure, information-rich environment that places the customer in charge of the shopping process,” said Kanter in a release.
Meanwhile, interim CEO Vijay Talwar will transition to general manager and president of international at Blue Nile.