Etsy’s new IR head discusses move in-house

Apr 30, 2018
Deb Wasser was previously with PR firm Edelman

Etsy, the e-commerce website focused on artisan items, has appointed Deb Wasser as its new vice president of IR.

Wasser, who joined the Nasdaq-listed firm from PR house Edelman, previously served in IR at Veeco and Immunomedics. Before that, she worked for IR consultancy Citigate. Etsy’s former head of IR, Jennifer Beugelmans, recently moved on to head IR and PR at Dollar General.

Here, Wasser discusses her new role and the reasons she has moved to an issuer after three years as an adviser.

Why did you decide to move back in-house?

After three great years building Edelman’s IR practice, the opportunity at Etsy came to my attention through my industry contacts. I’ve learned so much at Edelman in terms of the changing nature of stakeholder communications and broadened my view of the key requirements for building trust with the financial community.

Since most of my career has been spent in-house, I frankly missed the deep diving into the business, being part of an operating team and the direct Street interaction an IRO has. I became excited about the opportunity to put my new ‘consultant’ skills and insights to work and Etsy is a unique opportunity. I left a great team at Edelman, so this was the right time for me to move on.

What attracted you to Etsy?

Etsy is an exciting, fast-paced technology company with a new management team and a significant growth opportunity in the e-commerce space, and, having gone public in 2015, [it’s] still early in its evolution as a public company. As an Etsy buyer, I was already familiar with our mission to ‘keep commerce human’ and I share Etsy’s core values.

Our attractive market platform, the size of our market opportunity, competitive position, strong brand and attractive financials were all a critical part of my decision. The culture here is phenomenal – everything from our cool and sustainable Silicon Valley-style Brooklyn HQ to our incredibly creative and talented team members and our focus on doing what is best for our sellers, buyers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve. It’s a fun and inspirational place to work.

How is your team set up?

A good friend of mine ran IR here and moved on to another company. But she left a great team: Gabriel Ratcliff, IR manager, and Dahlia Welsh, our IR team support. I was excited to join a strong organization and also have the opportunity to continue to shape the company’s investor narrative and IR program. I see opportunities to take the IR program to the next level along with the growth and development of the company.

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