Two years after joining Gilt Groupe as CEO, *ABC* and Martha Stewart vet Susan Lyne is swapping places with founder Kevin Ryan as the startup moves closer to a possible IPO. He will take over day-to-day operations as CEO while she focuses on strategy and business development as chairman. Gilt Groupe, founded in 2007, has grown from a women’s fashion sale site to six categories including fashion (women, men, children), home furnishings, travel and local.
The company says when Lyne joined in 2008 annual gross revenues were $25 million; that rose to $170 million in 2009 and this year it projects $400 million at a minimum and as high as $500 million.
But Gilt Groupe also has a large payroll with 500 staffers, much more competition as the private flash sale concept spreads — and $83 million in funding led by General Atlantic and Matrix. Ryan has been down the startup-to-IPO road before with DoubleClick. The three-letter acronym isn’t mentioned in the announcement, although it did come up earlier this year with WSJ (sub. req.) when StubHub’s Andrew Page came on as CFO. But the intent is clear. Ryan is counting on his operation skills to get them to the next level.