Nasty Gal’s Sophia Amoruso Gives Up Her Title as CEO

Sophia Amoruso’s name has become synonymous with #GIRLBOSS, the title of her new book and no-nonsense philosophy in running the clothing e-retailer she founded, Nasty Gal. But Amoruso, 30, is stepping down from her throne, Re/code reported, and handing over her CEO crown to Sheree Waterson, who’s been serving as Nasty Gal’s president since last year.

She might not be holding the scepter anymore, but she’s not morphing into a wallflower anytime soon, which would go against her brand’s very essence. Amoruso will stay on as executive chairman, leading the company’s creative and brand marketing teams.

As SUCCESS wrote in an October 2014 feature, Amoruso has appeared on rising-stars lists like Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and Inc.’s 30 under 30 for being the original Nasty Gal and growing “an empire on trial and error, with her own self-confidence (not to mention blood, sweat and tears) making up for a lack of outside assistance.” So why would she let go of that control, that power? Because “what got you here can’t get you there,” she told Re/code.

“As you know, part of being a #GIRLBOSS (and just a decent human being) is about playing to your strengths,” Amoruso wrote on the Nasty Gal blog. “I’ve been wondering for a while now if the CEO role is one that I want—and the one that I’m best at…. My entire youth has been Nasty Gal. My entire future is Nasty Gal. This is a choice that will give our team, and our business, legs.”

Amoruso told Re/code that the decision was hers alone, something she wanted to do—and, as Nasty Gal’s profitability has begun to veer off the fast track, something that will help keep Nasty Gal secure in its impressive position as an online retail powerhouse, one that’s always moving to the next level.

“I actually see myself as support to Sophia so we can unleash her genius,” Waterson told Re/code. “Taking over the operation of the company allows Sophia to be out and connecting the brand with our customer and all the other amazing people she meets.”

“What creates opportunities is trying new things and not being afraid of taking smart risks,” Amoruso said in her interview with SUCCESS. “But sometimes things just aren’t meant to be. Being OK with changing direction when something really isn’t working, I think, is important.”

Read the full SUCCESS feature on Sophia Amoruso and how she grew from a solopreneur into a #GIRLBOSS. 


Jessica Krampe is the digital managing editor for A graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism, Jessica has worked for news, entertainment, business and lifestyle publications. Outside of the daily grind, she enjoys happy hours, live music and traveling.

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