Wayfair Fortifies Tech Leadership With New CTO at the Helm

Liz Dominguez
Managing Editor
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Wayfair mobile app

Amid a global explosion of e-commerce sales as COVID-19 cases continue to flare up, and consumers dive deep into digital experiences, Wayfair is doubling down on its commitment to supporting its tech infrastructure with a series of new hires—beginning with a new chief technology officer.

Fiona Tan is taking over as CTO, replacing Jim Miller on March 1, as he transitions into retirement at the end of June. Tan joined the organization as global head of customer and supplier technology in 2020 with more than 25 years of experience leading technology teams at major organizations such as Walmart.

Wayfair Names Fiona Tan Chief Technology Officer (Photo: Business Wire)
Wayfair Names Fiona Tan Chief Technology Officer (Photo: Business Wire)

As SVP of U.S. technology at Walmart, she was responsible for innovation and engineering execution across its site, mobile app, and all associate and merchant-facing technology for its e-commerce and stores business in the U.S.

Prior to Walmart, Tan served several leadership roles at Ariba, responsible for the strategy, lifecycle, and delivery of the Ariba Commerce Network, as well as TIBCO Software. 

Tan said she is honored to lead the “highly talented, world-class team of technologists at Wayfair,” on the “already most rewarding” customer experience in the retail category, building on the successes of Miller, who invested efforts across engineering, data science, product management, and design.

“I look forward to further building our strengths as a tech organization and leading our exceptional team of technologists as we advance the company’s ambitious goals and next phase of growth, further cementing Wayfair’s leadership role in retail,” Tan added.

An Expansive Team to Support Digital Growth 

Since Tan’s appointment, the company has invested heavily in the development of its tech team in order to bolster efforts to develop new solutions from machine learning and data science techniques to merchandising and product imagery. 

[Related: Wayfair Opening Three Engineering Sites and Hiring Tech Positions]

These are the latest new-hires. 

Sean Halligan — Chief Global Supply Chain Officer

Sean Halligan Joins Wayfair as Chief Global Supply Chain Officer (Photo: Business Wire)
Sean Halligan Joins Wayfair as Chief Global Supply Chain Officer (Photo: Business Wire)

As chief global supply chain officer, Sean Halligan will drive strategic supply chain initiatives to bolster Wayfair’s consumer experience from product discovery to final delivery, including the ongoing expansion of Wayfair’s fulfillment center and delivery network, and the development of the company’s global freight network.

Halligan brings more than two decades of experience leading supply chains for large, customer-facing organizations including Cardinal Health, Nike, and Target. 

Halligan stated he is excited to join the company in its mission to expand its operational footprint to support ongoing growth in new markets and physical retail. 

“The strength of Wayfair’s global supply chain drives a best-in-class experience for its customers,” said Halligan. “I look forward to working with this talented team to continuously improve and enhance the customer experience through operations expertise and innovation.”

Ashwin Rao — Chief Science Officer

As chief science officer, Ashwin Rao will help accelerate the company’s continued tech innovation growth with a focus on machine learning, mathematical modeling, and algorithms that look to strengthen the shopping experience. 

Prior to joining Wayfair, Rao served as vice president of artificial intelligence at Target Corporation where he led Target's global AI and data science teams, developing products and solutions for supply chain, merchandising, search, recommendations, and marketing. 

“The breadth and depth of Wayfair’s technological operations and expertise rival that of any technologically-advanced organization,” said Rao in a statement. “I look forward to leading innovation that creates operational efficiencies, enables consumers to easily find the right product, and helps Wayfair achieve its growth objectives.”

Niraj Nagrani — VP, Global Supplier Marketplace

Niraj Nagrani, as VP of global supplier marketplace, pricing, catalog and merchandising technologies, will lead innovation strategies to grow Wayfair’s web/mobile experiences and strengthen data insights for suppliers. 

Nagrani was previously vice president of engineering at Google, where he drove initiatives to deliver machine learning, artificial intelligence, mobile, web, and cloud tech solutions across Google consumer and developer products.

“We are committed to continually evolving our technology platform to make it as easy and efficient as possible for our suppliers to deliver their products to our customers,” said Nagrani. “Both our supplier network and our customer base continue to grow, making this an exciting time to join Wayfair.”

Both Rao and Nagrani will report to Tan.

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