Deborah Fine is a highly accomplished omnichannel executive and proven CEO, with 20+ years of experience leading six diverse lifestyle businesses to record growth and profit through all stages of the enterprise lifecycle, ranging from start up to mature, reinvention to turnaround. Her experience encompasses B2B and B2C disciplines in public and private companies. Her success across these companies has been based on combining creative vision and a metrics driven approach to operations and execution. Deborah is a proven change agent, with a track record of determining formulas for profitable growth across every business she leads. With a keen eye for talent, she identifies and unleashes internal expertise in concert with selectively adding innovation and specialized talent externally. She has consistently established unprecedented external partnerships, enhancing the power of the brand and driving record growth. Deborah has led businesses of scale in multiple industries, including consumer products, retail, and both digital and traditional media. These have encompassed a wide range of categories, including beauty, fashion, accessories, health, entertainment, and home in the mass and luxury sectors. She has succeeded by understanding the unique consumer segments and developing strategies tailored to each audience.
Initially recruited to join the Modell’s Sporting Goods Board of Directors, fine joined the company in 2014 in the newly created leadership role of Executive Vice President, Chief Commercial Officer. As a member of the Executive Leadership Team, she was responsible for the development of corporate strategy and new commercialization initiatives including audiences, channels, business models, and revenue streams.
Prior to joining Modell’s, Fine was the Chief Executive Officer of Direct Brands, Inc., from 2009-2012. It is the largest member-based retailer of media products in the US, and the parent company of 24 multi-channel subscription clubs with 8 million members across iconic brands such as Book of the Month Club, Doubleday, and Columbia House. Direct Brands acquired 1 million new members per year via direct mail, digital advertising, affiliate marketing, cross-selling, and business development partnerships. Fine quadrupled the cash balance over a 2 year period, exceeding EBITDA targets by 200%.
In 2006, Fine joined NBC Universal Digital Media in 2006 as President, iVillage Properties, where she led the world’s first and largest online community for women with 27 million members globally. She executed a complete turnaround of this $100M business resulting in operating break even for the first time in its 12 year history, with +35% in revenue, outpacing the industry by 30%, 23 consecutive months of year-over-year traffic growth, and a 91% increase in brand awareness.
Previously, Fine was the Chief Executive Officer of Victoria’s Secret PINK. She led PINK into a diverse lifestyle brand achieving nearly $1B in incremental sales and set the stage for the development of new beauty and accessory categories. Additionally, Fine led the development of a digital strategy for PINK resulting in an unprecedented +39% response rate and new customers to retail.
Fine was the Founder and President of Avon Future from 2001-2005, where she created and launched the Mark business, Avon’s first multi-channel global cosmetic and accessory brand. Mark was also Avon’s first-ever entry into the 18-24 year old demographic across all ethnicities, attracting the next generation of Avon buyers and sellers. In the first 18 months of operation, Mark achieved over $100M in incremental retail sales. From brand development and customer intimacy to retail and direct sales, she leveraged the internet to help redefine the Avon model, creating the strategy for international expansion across all Avon lines of business.
Prior to joining Avon, Fine spent 23 years in the media business, holding executive positions with Condé Nast Publications, including serving as Vice President and Publisher of Glamour and Publisher of Bride’s, their two largest businesses. At Glamour she achieved record profit and at Bride’s she successfully repositioned the brand and executed a business-wide turnaround, achieving the publication’s first profit level in a decade. Fine created and executed the weddingchannel.com and Federated Department Store relationship as Condé Nast’s first online initiative.
She is well known across these industry sectors, having won numerous awards including the Avon Chairman’s Award for Business Performance, Product Development awards from InStyle, Self, and Allure, Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch”, Women’sWear Daily’s Best Executed Launch Strategy, Cosmetic Executive Women Achiever Award, and Girl Scouts of AmericaWoman of Distinction.
Over the past decade, Fine has been elected to serve as a Director on the Board of 7 businesses and organizations, including Active International, Pet360, an Updata Partners company acquired by PetSmart, Wilmington Trust, the Direct Marketing Association, and the Girl Scouts of America, New York City. In 2015, she has been named to two Advisory Boards: First Insight, an Updata Partners company featuring real time, predictive retail analytics technology, and Springboard Enterprise Media Council, an entity that has advised over 500 women-led businesses in digital, media, and technology.
Fine is a Cum Laude Graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She is a passionate $2 million fundraiser for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and she was appointed to the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Diabetes, Obesity, and Metabolism Leadership Council. Fine has been profiled as “The Boss” in the New York Times and is a participant in the Distinguished Speaker Series at Harvard, Yale, Wharton and Columbia.