Hugh Fahy has described himself as “a child of the 20th century, equally confused and delighted by the 21st”.
That curious nature has been apparent over the course of his career, which has spanned gambling and luxury fashion.
Now Fahy is taking a stab at the competitive world of online marketplaces as Notonthehightstreet.com’s new IT boss.
But Fahy is no stranger to online retail. Before taking up his new role he was Net-a-Porter’s chief information officer.
Delivering results and failing fast
After taking up that position in April 2014, Fahy managed a team of 300 employees, leading the technology offer across the luxury fashion etailer’s central online platform as well as Mr Porter and The Outnet.
Over the course of his tenure at Net-a-Porter, Fahy oversaw the in-house development of the etailer’s beauty division, as well as launching The NetSet.
The social commerce platform was designed to appeal to millennial shoppers and started out as an invite-only mobile app. The NetSet allows shoppers to create wish lists, follow other users and make in-app purchases.
When implementing new technology Fahy has said he prefers a ‘fail-fast’ approach, and would rather risk getting a new platform in front of customers as soon as possible to test rather than spending months in development.
This was a strategy Fahy applied to wearable technology when Net-a-Porter teamed up with now-defunct Google Glass on a range of Diane Von Furstenberg glasses in 2014.
Building a leadership team
Fahy joins Notonthehighstreet next week and is the first leadership team hire by new boss Simon Belsham since taking over the business from its founders Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish last year.
A source close to the retailer told Retail Week Fahy’s recruitment “signals Notonthehighstreet doubling down on its ecommerce development as it pushes into its next phase of evolution”.
In his new role as IT boss Fahy will oversee Notonthehighstreet’s IT team and focus on developing its ecommerce platform.
The online marketplace delivered 25% growth during Christmas trading and recently launched a retail app on Apple TV. Fahy will no doubt aim to further build on strong trading momentum and leverage new technologies in his new role.
Fahy’s varied career has also taken on stints at Fujitsu, Vodafone and mobile betting firm OpenVantage before he became director of development for Betfair in 2009.
During his time at Betfair, Fahy led a £25m three-year programme to rebuild the company’s 24/7 trading platform and customer service system as well as leading its technology offer when it floated in 2010.
Belsham will be hoping that Fahy will be a safe bet to bring even more impressive results to Notonthehighstreet.