Fab’s Future Could Be Decided In The Coming Weeks

Next Story

Despite Furor, Proposed Net Neutrality Changes Appear Headed For A Vote

Design-focused e-commerce startup Fab has fallen on hard times over the last year, going through multiple rounds of layoffs and losing key executives along the way.

The company has raised more than $330 million in venture funding from investors that include Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Mayfield Fund, Atomico, Menlo Ventures, and others.

But it’s gone through a violent boom-and-bust cycle, as it has pivoted multiple times — most recently from flash sales to selling its own branded retail products.

According to our sources, its product and business roadmap could change yet again, as key executives and the board are holding meetings over the next few weeks that could determine the company’s future.

Next week, Fab CEO Jason Goldberg is expected to have several all-day meetings with senior members of his staff, which has been dubbed the “J+ Team.”

That group consists of EVP of Operations John Wu, SVP of Design Kiel Mead, SVP & General Counsel Fabio Silva, SVP of E-Commerce & Marketing Alex Do, SVP of Product Eric Price, GM of Soft Home/Home Essentials & SVP of Licensing and Wholesale Jerry Haggerty, SVP of Product Design Evan Clabots, General Manager of Personal Accessories Renee Wong, VP & General Manager of Hard Goods Ian Hardman, Vice President of Global Logistics and Customer Support Jacob Letendre, VP People and Culture Renee Harper-Lee, VP of People Operations Martin Paul, Senior Director, Business Intelligence & Analytics Larry Cohen, and Director of Financial Planning Analysis Pierre Coker.

The meetings, which are on Goldberg’s calendar from 9-5 on Tuesday through Friday, follow a previous round of discussions Goldberg had with the J+ Team a few weeks ago. Afterward, word leaked out that the company could go through yet another round of downsizing.

According to one source, Goldberg and team are currently contemplating several different operating plans for Fab. The meetings are being held to narrow down those plans, which Goldberg could present to the company’s board of directors the following week.

Sources say Fab will likely focus more on its own private-label products, continuing to move away from third-party partnerships and sales. It’ll sell more Fab-branded home goods, including furniture, textiles, and home accents. (UPDATE: An earlier version of this story said Fab would focus exclusively on private-label products, but another source tells us that Fab would continue to work with third-party vendors.)

As a result, the company could close or rent out its U.S. warehouse to a third party.

Fab plans to unveil a number of these new products at a press event on May 15, even as key executives are holding internal meetings that could determine the company’s future.

It’s important to note that Fab’s strategic direction has yet to be finalized. That said, we’ve heard from multiple people that whatever is decided, U.S. operations are likely to be drastically reduced in the process. Sources tell us the company could downsize to as few as 20-40 employees in its New York headquarters.

At an internal meeting last week, Goldberg told staff members that nothing had been confirmed but that the company was making the strategic decisions necessary to extend its runway through 2017.

In the meantime, we’ve heard buyers and planners have been taken off any projects that extend beyond June 2014, which has led many to assume that their categories will soon be axed.

There’s a chance that will happen… but ultimately it will be up to the board to decide.

A representative from Fab declined to comment for this story.