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Former Amazon exec to lead Catch

Wesfarmers’ department store arm, Kmart Group, has appointed the former vice president of Amazon, Pete Sauerborn, as the new managing director of Catch.

Sauerborn brings more than two decades of experience working in technology and retail businesses, including Amazon and Teleflora, to Catch, the e-commerce business Wesfarmers acquired in August 2019 for $230 million.

He most recently served as Amazon’s VP of selling partner recruitment and development.

Prior to that, he served as director and general manager of worldwide marketplace, where he led the teams developing the programs and tools used by Amazon marketplace sellers, which collectively represent more than 58 per cent of Amazon’s consumer business.

“We are really thrilled to have someone as experienced and qualified in e-commerce and online shopping as Pete Sauerborn to lead Catch through its next exciting phase of growth,” Ian Bailey, Kmart Group’s managing director, said.

Image of Ian Bailey, Kmart Group MD, and Pete Sauerborn, Catch MD
Ian Bailey, MD of Kmart Group, and Pete Sauerborn, MD of Catch (left to right)

Catch has outperformed Wesfarmers expectations over the last year, according to Bailey, and will seek to significantly improve and expand its customer offer under Sauerborn’s leadership.

“By increasing our investment in the business, and by continuing to build Catch into a trusted marketplace for online shoppers, we have every reason to believe that Catch will go from strength to strength.”

Sauerborn is set to start at Catch on Monday, May 11, and will be based at the online retailer’s head office in Bentleigh, Victoria.

Calling Catch an “impressive e-commerce business”, Sauerborn said he was excited to leverage Kmart Group’s physical store infrastructure and great brands to scale the business to the next level.

He noted that differences in online adoption, transportation networks, regulations and taxation in Australia set it apart from North America, Europe and Asia.

“Australia is a bit earlier in adoption of e-commerce when measured as a percentage of total retail sales, and there are different dynamics because of its relatively smaller population and remote geography, which has implications for supply chain, inventory and transportation,” Sauerborn said.

This story first appeared on sister site, Inside Retail Australia.

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