Evine Live Inc. leaders will review new brands and rely more heavily on data to choose merchandise as they try to make the home shopping network more profitable, the company's interim chief executive said Tuesday.
"We're going to be reviewing very carefully the merchandising mix on air," Bob Rosenblatt said in an interview. "That doesn't mean I'm planning on going back to us being a jewelry and watch TV network."
Rosenblatt, who has been chairman of the company since 2014, added the temporary role of day-to-day leader Monday after Chief Executive Mark Bozek stepped down over the weekend.
Under Bozek, Evine Live diversified its offerings beyond a heavy reliance on jewelry and watches, aiming for bigger revenue growth. But that meant selling goods that weren't as profitable, such as clothing, beauty and kitchen items. Bozek also sought out partnerships with celebrities such as Paula Deen and the Beekman Boys to get exclusive products that would bring viewers and buyers to Evine Live, which is a distant third in the cable-TV shopping race behind QVC and HSN.
The company's ongoing struggles led to a conference call over the weekend between the board and Bozek.
"We all made a decision that it would be best for him to resign," said Rosenblatt, who along with Bozek was part of a group of executives who took control in June 2014 after a proxy fight driven by activist investors. The two men previously worked together at HSN.
Bozek could not be reached for comment.
On Tuesday, Rosenblatt praised Bozek for having a lot of "great ideas," but he said more attention needed to be paid to profitability. He noted investors lost confidence in Evine Live's strategy. Its stock price, which was around $5 when Bozek became CEO, fell below $1 last week. Evine Live shares closed at 57 cents on Tuesday.
Rosenblatt, who splits his time between New York and Florida, flew into Minneapolis over the weekend to oversee the transition. He broke the news to senior leaders at a 6:30 a.m. meeting Monday. He told other employees a short time later, just as the company put out a statement announcing it.
Rosenblatt spent most of the rest of the day on the phone with investors, analysts and key vendors to explain the change and the plan going forward. Reaction, he said, was mixed, as the news surprised many who are close to the company.
Bozek brokered many of the new deals with vendors. But Rosenblatt said he also has good relationships with Evine's vendors, partly because of his work as an executive at Tommy Hilfiger and HSN.
His message to suppliers is that arrangements will continue as planned as long as they will make money for both sides. As for the list of new brands the network was planning to launch this spring, Rosenblatt said he hasn't had the chance to review all of them yet. "But I imagine that many of them will continue to happen," he said.
On Tuesday, Evine announced it will debut a new collection with singer Michelle Williams during an anniversary celebration this weekend. Under Bozek, the company last February changed its network name from ShopHQ. Its previous corporate name was ValueVision Media.
The company tapped search firm Korn Ferry to help find a permanent CEO. Rosenblatt said that there isn't a specific timeline and that he is committed to running the company in the meantime. He added that he has more time to devote to Evine now that one of the company boards on which he sat, Pep Boys, completed a sale last week to billionaire Carl Icahn.
Rosenblatt is looking into temporary housing in the Twin Cities and will commute weekly.
"I understand there are a lot of flights between here and Florida," he said.