Online diamond and jewelry retailer, Blue Nile, has appointed retail industry veteran Harvey Kanter as CEO and president, effective March 30. He will also be appointed to the Seattle-based company’s board of directors. He replaces Diane Irvine who resigned suddenly in November.
Interim CEO, Vijay Talwar, has been named general manager and president of International, and will lead Blue Nile’s international business.
Kanter has more than 25 years of merchandising and retail experience, including multichannel retail and merchandising positions. Prior to joining Blue Nile, he served as president and CEO of Moosejaw Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel, Inc., a leading multichannel retailer of premium outdoor apparel and gear. Under his leadership, Kanter developed Moosejaw’s enhanced brand architecture and market positioning by clearly defining the merchandising, marketing, and consumer experience strategy and initiatives. During his tenure, Moosejaw experienced double-digit revenue growth and was the recipient of numerous industry awards, including: Internet Retailer Hot 100 and Hot 100 Mobile, and Ad Age Top 50 Marketing Company.
Before Moosejaw, Kanter served as executive VP and managing director of Michaels Stores, the nation’s largest craft store chain in the United States and Canada, with nearly $4 billion in annual sales. While at Michaels, Kanter led the overhaul of the company’s product merchandising and was responsible for product trend development.
“Harvey brings a vibrant leadership style and a unique ability to align product strategy and marketing in such a way that inspires consumers,” said Mark Vadon, Blue Nile chairman. “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.”