Veteran Wal-Mart executive Claire Watts will join QVC in January, and will assume the role of president of U.S. Commerce effective May 1, officials said Thursday.
Watts, who succeeds Darlene Daggett, will oversee planning, programming, merchandising, broadcasting, TV sales, and QVC.com for the U.S. operation. She will play a key role in extending the QVC brand among existing and new customers and driving growth across all platforms.
QVC officials declined to discuss Daggett, saying only that she was no longer with the company.
Watts joins QVC at a time when the company is expanding. Over the past several months, the company launched its first-ever national advertising campaign, redesigned QVC.com, and updated its on-air look with new studio sets and fresh graphics. QVC also recently announced that it will be simulcasting in HDTV in 2008.
She comes to QVC with 25 years of broad retail and merchandising experience with industry leaders in the department store, specialty, catalog and mass segments.
Over the past 10 years, Watts held various executive positions at Wal-Mart, most recently serving as executive vice president of merchandising. Her experience with the world's largest retailer encompassed apparel, jewelry, accessories and home product categories.
Watts,who received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, was named one of Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Powerful Women” in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
She began her career in May Co.’s executive training program, and then served in senior merchandising and product roles at Paul Harris, The Limited and Lands’ End.