1. Corporate Strategy

Rent the Runway Taps New CMO, Sets Sights on Profitability

Rent the Runway has hired Natalie McGrath as its new CMO in order to drive growth marketing and branding efforts. She will report to CEO Jennifer Hyman.

After a tumultuous few years, Rent the Runway is seeking a fresh perspective to drive its marketing and advertising efforts to drum up demand. Natalie McGrath, who has 20 years of experience, will join the company as Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), effective March 4, 2024. She will be the first person to take on the role since 2020 and will report directly to Co-founder, CEO and President Jennifer Hyman.

Most recently, McGrath led marketing for Afterpay’s North America and Europe businesses. However, she has a rich history in fashion and retail, including successful tenures at BooHoo Group PLC, Coach and Alexander Wang. She started her career at Net-a-Porter.

As Rent the Runway’s CMO, McGrath will be tasked with reigniting the company’ growth funnel, which has undoubtedly slowed: in its Q3 2023 results, the company revealed that total revenue decreased 6.3% year over year, to $72.5 million. However, the total number of active members who ended their subscriptions dropped 2% year over year, while the total number of average active subscribers increased 4%.

“With a world-class marketer like Natalie McGrath at the helm of this iconic brand, I’m looking forward to seizing on the incredible growth opportunity I believe is ahead of us, and continuing to lead the category we created,” said Hyman in a statement. “We are focused on supercharging our market share by creating emotional and lasting connections with our core customers — and reaching net-new audiences. Natalie has proven time and again — with some of the world’s top brands — that this is where she excels, and I’m delighted to partner with her to drive RTR to the next level.”

McGrath will oversee the entire Rent the Runway customer journey, including brand and growth marketing, creative services, public relations and customer service. She will play a central role at this “pivotal time” for the business as it prioritizes customer growth, experiential marketing, lifecycle marketing and customer experience initiatives. Prior to McGrath’s hiring, Chief Revenue Officer Brian Donato oversaw brand and growth marketing.

“As a company I have long admired, I am extremely energized about joining RTR and focusing on reigniting the brand during the next phase of its growth,” said McGrath in a statement. “I believe we can achieve significant scale by reminding customers of the value RTR can bring to their everyday lives, which we plan to do through merging some of the compelling founding themes of the brand with new marketing strategies, tactics and mediums.”

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