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Why Stitch Fix Founder Katrina Lake Joined Recruit Holdings

In June 2023, Katrina Lake, founder of Stitch Fix, became an Independent Director at Recruit Holdings. She is an entrepreneur whose company was listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange in 2017, making her the youngest female CEO to take a company public in the US at the time. Why did Katrina, a successful entrepreneur in the technology industry in Silicon Valley, decide to join the board of the Recruit Group? She can tell you:

Katrina Saw Opportunities at Recruit Group Succeeded in Transforming Over 60 Years

I see my role as an Independent Director at Recruit Holdings as a great opportunity to utilize my experience running technology companies in the US, while also taking on new challenges that match my own curiosity. In 2011, while studying at Harvard Business School, I founded Stitch Fix, a personal styling service. I led the company as CEO for 10 years, but after stepping down as CEO and taking on the Charman role in 2021, I started to look for new challenges. In particular, I was hoping for opportunities in Japan, where my roots are, to learn corporate governance from a long-term perspective, which is something Japanese companies excel at.

Recruit Holdings was my top choice right from the outset. As an employer, I have used the services of Indeed and Glassdoor, so the Recruit Group's Human Resources (HR) business was already familiar and valuable to me. In addition, Recruit Group’s vision to provide matching services in a very human-centric way is similar to Stitch Fix’s, even though the two companies are in different industries.

I was also attracted by the opportunity to be involved in the governance of Recruit Holdings, which takes a long-term view of management in a country where half of the companies are more than 100 years old*1. Recruit Holdings is a unique company that has successfully transformed its businesses several times over the past 60 years since its founding, based on a corporate culture that bets on the passion of each employee and fosters "entrepreneurship", and has now become a global company operating in 60 countries. I have great affinity for such values and hope to help Recruit Group transform and grow its businesses for many decades to come.

*1 Nikkei BP Consulting, Anniversary Business Lab 2022 Edition 100-Year Company

Katrina Lake, Independent Director, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.

The Latest Opportunity for Business Growth and Social Impact is the Use of AI

I see great potential for both growing the business and creating social impact through Recruit Group's very human-centric matching services with high-quality and comprehensive data.

I believe that Stitch Fix, which I founded, has also contributed to bettering people's lives through the use of AI. Traditionally, stylists were only for very expensive clothes in the high-end market, but Stitch Fix’s platform created a new market for stylists to make suggestions for more affordable clothing, where more customers’ needs are. In other words, the company created totally new jobs for stylists that didn't exist before and gave users access to affordable stylists.

The same could be said of Recruit Group. For example, if the 'Simplify Hiring' strategyTo an external site is further promoted in the future, the use of AI will make the hiring process more efficient, making it much easier and faster for jobseekers to find the right job and employers to hire the right people. I can see that being able to quickly find the right job improves the quality of life of workers, and I believe, looking back my own time as an employer, that employers will appreciate having more time to devote to their core business.

The Key to Long-term Growth is in a Corporate Culture to 'Bet on Passion' to Foster 'Entrepreneurship'

Entrepreneurship, which I have always valued myself, is part of Recruit Group’s corporate culture since its founding, and I believe that it is the key to its long-term growth. As an entrepreneur who started Stitch Fix at the age of 28, I have always valued the idea of betting on my passion, even if it sometimes means taking risks. I sense that same spirit in people at Recruit Group, and I believe that betting on passions and entrepreneurial individuals’ ambitions to realize bold business transformations and growth is what the history of Recruit Group is all about.

I believe the company will continue to transform and grow for many decades to come by staying true to this time-tested philosophy. I look forward to contributing to this growth by fully utilizing my experience as a CEO, entrepreneur and my knowledge of technology businesses that leverage AI and data science.

Katrina Lake, Independent Director, Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.

Katrina Lake

Independent Director (Non-Executive) Recruit Holdings Co., Ltd.

Katrina Lake serves as an Independent Director of Recruit Holdings’ Board since 2023. Katrina is the Executive Chairperson of the Board of Stitch Fix, Inc., a technology platform based in the US that offers personal online styling services. Katrina brings a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge from serving as an Independent Director for companies such as Grubhub, Inc., a global food delivery service provider and Glossier, Inc., a cosmetics brand. Katrina joined EY-Parthenon (formerly The Parthenon Group) in 2005, and in 2011, after working for Leader Ventures, LLC, she founded Stitch Fix, Inc.. In 2017, Stitch Fix, Inc. was listed on NASDAQ, making her the youngest female CEO ever to be listed on the stock exchange.

Aug 29, 2023

This article is based on information available at the time of publication.