Appointed Michael Novotny President of BARK Eats, Named Anil Nair Chief Supply Chain Officer and Olly Downs Vice President of Data, Analytics and Machine Learning
The Original BARK Company (NYSE: BARK) (“BARK” or the “Company”), a leading global omni-channel brand for dogs and the company behind BarkBox, today announced the expansion of its leadership team to advance the Company’s long-term strategic growth plans.
- Michael Novotny, who has served as Chief Operating Officer of BARK since 2019, has been named President of BARK Eats. In this role, he will work alongside co-founder Carly Strife to lead the Company’s high-quality, personalized nutrition and meal business as it continues to scale and prepares for nationwide rollout in 2022.
- Anil Nair, who brings over 15 years of public company experience spanning retail, supply chain, product management and analytics and was most recently Director, Global Logistics at Amazon, will become Chief Supply Chain Officer. In this role, he will manage all aspects of BARK’s inbound, fulfillment and outbound operations, and will focus on enhancing the Company’s cost efficient and predictable supply chain and delivery experience for BARK customers.
- Olly Downs, a machine learning scientist, seasoned technology leader and serial technology entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and 41 U.S. patents, has joined BARK as Vice President of Data, Analytics and Machine Learning. In this role, he will be responsible for managing BARK's enterprise big data, analytics, data science and machine learning strategy, expanding personalization of the BARK customer experience, and enabling data-driven decision making at scale across the business. Prior to joining BARK, he served as Vice President, Marketing Technology, Data & Machine Learning at e-commerce retailer Zulily.
Manish Joneja, Chief Executive Officer of BARK, said, “A key pillar to BARK’s long-term success is the strength, passion and excellence of our people. Over the past several months, we have made significant headway bolstering our management team with individuals who are proven leaders in their respective fields, share our core values, and have a profound love for dogs. Anil possesses significant expertise in optimizing e-commerce and supply chain operations, while Olly is a renowned machine learning and artificial intelligence specialist with a distinguished track record of leveraging data and technology to improve business outcomes. Additionally, Michael has been instrumental in expanding BARK’s key businesses and he is well suited to spearhead BARK Eats.”
The Company also announced that it has significantly expanded its fulfillment center in Columbus, Ohio to support the continued rollout of BARK Eats, BARK’s healthy, personalized meal subscription service developed by veterinary nutritionists and tailored to the breed, age, size, and lifestyle of customers’ dogs.
Novotny added, “I am excited to lead BARK Eats at this critical time in its evolution. The dog food category is especially ripe for disruption, and with our newly expanded, state-of-the-art facilities, we will be able to effectively scale BARK’s signature highly-customized approach and offer a truly unique meal product that fosters healthier, happier dogs while simplifying the lives of their owners.”
Michael Novotny Bio
Michael joined BARK in 2015 after serving as an advisor to the Company since 2012. He has overseen various functions at the Company in his previous roles as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Commerce Officer, including product manufacturing and sourcing, inventory planning and management, transportation, logistics and warehousing, and customer service. In his role at BARK he helped launch new businesses such as BARK Bright and the Company’s licensing initiatives. Prior to joining BARK, Michael held senior leadership roles at internet retailer JackThreads and served as an advisor to Lerer Hippeau, an early stage venture capital fund. He began his career in finance with positions at Lehman Brothers, Thomas Weisel Partners, and SAC Capital Advisors. He holds a BS in Economics from New York University and an MBA in Strategic Management from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Anil Nair Bio
As Director, Global Logistics at Amazon, Anil was responsible for building and operating supply chains, forecasting, and analytics capabilities to support Amazon’s multi-billion-dollar export business to over 200 destinations. Before that, he served as the Head of Customer to Customer Shipping and Freight at eBay, managing the company’s shipping and returns experience and developing its freight platform and logistics relationships in North America and globally. Previously, Anil was a Director, Product Management at Zappos; Managing Consultant at Slalom Consulting; and Manager, Merchandising and Supply Chain at Williams-Sonoma. He began his career as a Software Engineer at Infosys Consulting, working for leading retailers including Nordstrom. Anil holds a BE in Computer Science from the University of Pune.
Olly Downs Bio
As Vice President, MarTech, Data & Machine Learning at e-commerce retailer Zulily, Olly led the team through an enterprise data platform migration and more than doubled topline business impact through machine-learning enabled personalization capabilities. He has brought advanced analytics and machine learning methods to bear at numerous early-stage technology companies and larger enterprises, including Zillow Group, Amplero, Globys Inc., AdReady, Atigeo, and Mindset Media. He began his career at Microsoft Research and spun out its first IP Ventures company INRIX as its Principal Scientist. Olly’s work has resulted in 41 granted United States patents across various fields. He holds BA, MA, and MSci degrees in Experimental and Theoretical Physics from the University of Cambridge, and MA and PhD degrees in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Princeton University.
BARK is the world’s most dog-centric company, devoted to making dogs happy with the best products, services and content. BARK’s dog-obsessed team applies its unique, data-driven understanding of what makes each dog special to design playstyle-specific toys, wildly satisfying treats, personalized meal plans and supplements, and dog-first experiences that foster the health and happiness of dogs everywhere. Founded in 2012, BARK loyally serves dogs nationwide with themed toys and treats subscriptions, BarkBox and BARK Super Chewer; custom product collections through its retail partner network, including Target and Amazon; its high-quality, personalized nutrition and meal plans with BARK Eats; and health and wellness products that meet dogs’ needs with BARK Bright. At BARK, we want to make dogs as happy as they make us because dogs and humans are better together. Sniff around at bark.co for more information.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release are not historical facts but are forward-looking statements for purposes of the safe harbor provisions under the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements generally are accompanied by words such as “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “expect,” “should,” “would,” “plan,” “predict,” “potential,” “seem,” “seek,” “future,” “outlook,” and similar expressions that predict or indicate future events or trends or that are not statements of historical matters, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the Company’s long-term strategic growth plans and the Company’s rollout of its BARK Eats initiative.
These statements are based on various assumptions, whether or not identified in this press release, and on the current expectations of BARK’s management and are not predictions of actual performance. These forward-looking statements are provided for illustrative purposes only and are not intended to serve as, and must not be relied on by any investor as, a guarantee, an assurance, a prediction or a definitive statement of fact or probability. Actual events and circumstances are difficult or impossible to predict and will differ from assumptions. Many actual events and circumstances are beyond the control of BARK. Some important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in any forward-looking statements could include changes in domestic and foreign business, market, financial, political and legal conditions. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, among others: BARK’s ability to retain key personnel; the risk that spending on pets may not increase at projected rates; BARK’s ability to successfully introduce new subscriptions-based offerings, including BARK Eats; that BARK subscriptions may not increase their spending with BARK; BARK’s ability to continue to convert social media followers and contacts into customers; BARK’s ability to successfully expand its product lines and channel distribution; competition, including competition in the dog food category; the uncertain effects of the COVID-19 pandemic; and those factors discussed in documents of BARK filed, or to be filed, with SEC. If any of these risks materialize or our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results could differ materially from the results implied by these forward-looking statements. There may be additional risks that BARK presently does not know or that BARK currently believes is immaterial that could also cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements.
In addition, forward-looking statements reflect BARK’s expectations, plans or forecasts of future events and views as of the date of this press release. BARK anticipates that subsequent events and developments will cause BARK’s assessments to change. However, while BARK may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, BARK specifically disclaims any obligation to do so. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing BARK’s assessments as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release. Accordingly, undue reliance should not be placed upon the forward-looking statements.