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nordstrom2Nordstrom is turning to longtime Seattle-based executive Kumar Srinivasan to help plot a new course for the company’s technology division, which was recently reduced in a round of layoffs.

Kumar Srinivasan
Kumar Srinivasan

Nordstrom, the fashion-retail store chain, has named Srinivasan as chief technology officer, the company announced Wednesday. Srinivasan is a former general manager at Amazon Payments Merchant Solutions unit and more recently was the co-founder and chief executive of software company Evocalize. According to Nordstrom’s statement, Srinivasan brings 18-years of technology and product management experience.

Srinivasan joins the retailer as the company scales back a technology strategy that was once widely seen as highly ambitious. Two weeks ago, GeekWire reported that Nordstrom laid off 120 people from the company’s technology division. The restructuring follows a lackluster return on the company’s $300 million tech and e-commerce investment last year. In February, Nordstrom reported quarterly net income fell to $180 million, or nearly 30 percent below the same period a year ago.

Nordstrom’s management has said it plans to scale back technology projects. Srinivasan will help shape the company’s “technology agenda,” Nordstrom said.

“We’re bringing Kumar to Nordstrom at an important time, as we are positioning our technology organization to better support our long-term growth plans,” said Dan Little, Nordstrom’s chief information officer, in a statement.

As for Srinivasan, his hire comes only two years after Evocalize, the company he co-founded, launched its platform. Evocalize tracks down customer data from social media, third parties, and other sources, and packages it so companies can use the data to understand customers better. In addition to Amazon and Evocalize, he was chief product and technology officer at Bazaarvoice.

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