Interview with Mindy Grossman CEO of Home Shopping Network (HSN)-2016

By 2006, after six years at Nike, Grossman desired a CEO position, preferably in a company where she did not need to commute across the country as she did at Nike. Nike had recently appointed its own new CEO and a new president, so she actively looked to find an opportunity in another company, seeking this time one that was direct-to-consumer, entrepreneurial but not a start-up, and one that she could transform by taking advantage of new technological advances. A recruiter approached her about IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC), the parent company of HSN, Inc., and after studying HSN’s broadcasts Grossman realized that, in her words, “HSN really needed to become more of a lifestyle network that would inspire people through products”. Her vision was to offer inspiring lifestyle programming, particularly with charismatic celebrities, with all the products for sale – rather than the usual dry and old-fashioned standard sales format.

She took the idea to Barry Diller, the head of IAC, and even though she had no television experience, no direct-to-consumer experience, and no experience in most of the product categories HSN sold, he hired her. In April 2006, Grossman was appointed CEO of IAC Retailing, overseeing HSN, the catalog company Cornerstone Brands,, and IAC’s international retailing operations.

HSN had had seven CEOs in the previous 10 years, and according to Grossman, the company, offices, and employees seemed downtrodden and frozen in time. One of her first actions was to throw out all the old, broken, or dirty office furniture and give all employees Aeron chairs. In order to focus on revitalizing HSN, she closed IAC’s failing UK auction business, sold its German shopping channel, closed the down-market DirecTV clearance-shopping channel, and put another executive in charge of Cornerstone brands. She also eliminated negative or “toxic” employees, sought out committed, knowledgeable people within and outside the company to head up important divisions, and ensured that all employees were on board with the company’s new vision.

Grossman also found that the network and brand itself was a “very stagnant, linear, non-immersive experience”. By October 2006 she rolled out HSN’s new brand image, tagline, vision statement, customer intention, and advertising. The company’s new manifesto was “to create a new lifestyle experience for consumers”. To implement the plan, she stopped selling $150 million worth of unsuitable brands, and worked hard to entice higher-end brands, and new personalities to sell products. Among many others, early on she recruited Sephora, Emeril Lagasse, and Todd English to sell on air. She also aired a two-hour fashion show of high-end apparel. In addition, she brought the company’s call centers back to the U.S. from overseas.

World Liberty TV’s Executive Producer Sat Down and did an exclusive interview with Mindy Grossman CEO of Home Shopping Network, at Serena Williams fashion Show During NYFW 2016, See What she had to say to World Liberty TV , Fashion Channel.

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