BobVila.com today named as its CEO Andy Wetmore, the executive who helped to create the online joint venture between Sears, Roebuck and Co. (NYSE: S) and the Bob Vila organization. Wetmore, who has extensive management experience in online and offline operations, acted most recently as the director of e-commerce business development for Sears, where, in addition to helping formulate the joint venture for BobVila.com, he also led efforts to launch the Craftsman and Tool Territory Web sites at sears.com.
BobVila.com plans to become America's leading site for home-improvement solutions -- offering consumers inspiration, online help, products and services. The company intends to build on the strengths and expertise of Sears and Bob Vila, and to join with other authoritative partners, to create the definitive online resource designed to assist people at every stage of the building-and-remodeling process. The first major release of the BobVila.com Web site is scheduled for fall, 2000.
"Andy Wetmore brings a unique perspective to our new venture. He is an experienced manager, an expert at creating online businesses, and an entrepreneur -- as well as someone who believes in preserving and improving homes and buildings," said Bob Vila, America's best-known authority on home renovation and remodeling.
"I'm very aware of the exponential potential of the Internet," said Andy Wetmore. "We have a tremendous opportunity to create a Web-based business that will be the ultimate home-improvement resource -- the place that people turn for solutions, whether they need contractors, tools, materials or great ideas from Bob Vila."
A 1987 graduate of the Harvard Business School, Wetmore has a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Sciences from the University of Virginia. During his five-year career with Sears, Wetmore also was instrumental in the company's expansion of Sears Hardware Stores from 75 to 200 units, including the integration of the Orchard Supply Hardware chain. Prior to Sears, Wetmore held management positions with Taco Bell and IBM, where he started as a computer programmer.
Wetmore also has launched two of his own businesses through the years: a real-estate development company in New England and an Internet cafe in the Midwest. Recently, he has been involved actively in efforts to preserve and renovate historic buildings in Batavia, Illinois, where he has been residing.
"All of my experiences coalesce with the challenge of leading and growing BobVila.com," Wetmore said. "It's an exciting opportunity to capitalize on the latest technology, the incredible resources of Sears and other companies we'll partner with, and, of course, the expertise and popularity of Bob Vila."
The online venture plans to utilize Bob Vila's media assets, including insights from his 11 books and more than 20 years on television, and also intends to create new, innovative content and solutions. Additionally, the site plans to promote and enhance the "Bob Vila's Home Again" television program, which airs nationally, in syndication, as well as on The Learning Channel.
BobVila.com, a joint venture between Sears and the Bob Vila organization, is a limited liability company, the board for which is comprised of CEO Andy Wetmore, and representatives of Sears and the Bob Vila organization. BobVila.com currently is utilizing the services of about 35 people to launch the Web-based business. Korn-Ferry is assisting the organization in its search for key management positions, including chief financial and marketing officers.NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000718/CGTU066
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Contact: Media, Carol Simantz for BobVila.com, 847-692-6311