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Nordstrom’s Chief Technology Officer to Leave

Edmond Mesrobian, Nordstrom Inc.’s chief technology and information officer and a computer scientist, is stepping down from his position.

Mesrobian was instrumental in advancing Nordstrom’s digital capabilities to further customer engagements and supported all aspects of technology across the company. His last day on the job will be Oct. 14 and a search for a successor is underway. Nordstrom did not provide an explanation for his departure.

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“We’re grateful to Edmond for his leadership and many contributions to our business, employees and customers,” Erik Nordstrom, chief executive officer, said in a letter to employees on Wednesday.

Nordstrom wrote that Mesrobian led improvements in the company’s technology, date and product capabilities, adding that, “It’s clear that we’re in a much better place today than we were before he arrived.” Mesrobian joined Nordstrom in 2018.

Nordstrom said Mesrobian has been “a key contributor in building the architecture, infrastructure and resiliency needed for us to be a digital-first company and realize our ‘Closer to You’ strategy,” a multiprong program calling out the Seattle-based retailer’s biggest growth opportunities: the Rack off-price chain, digital sales and the market strategy, which involves leveraging the physical assets of Nordstrom’s full-line department stores, Rack and Nordstrom Local to increase services, conveniences and merchandise choices.

Before joining Nordstrom, Mesrobian worked at the multinational, U.K.-based food retailer Tesco, where he focused on strengthening the company’s technological capabilities and creating innovative solutions for its customers. Prior to Tesco, he spearheaded operational and technical innovations as chief technology officer of global travel company Expedia, including online travel brands, Expedia.com, Hotels.com and Hotwire.com. Mesrobian also held the role of CTO at Real Networks, where he led development across multiple digital media services and software.

When he joined Nordstrom he said the company was “leading the charge to redefine the role technology and digital tools play in the retail environment.”

At WWD’s recent technology conference, Mesrobian said, “We want to make Nordstrom a daily habit. The challenge is to keep improving our experience and keep getting closer to our customers. That’s our journey.

“Data is a prerequisite,” the tech exec emphasized. “Knowing as much about the customer as you can is the first step.”

During the pandemic, “Our stylists embraced technology to help them reach customers when they couldn’t come to the stores,” Mesrobian said. Through remote selling, “They could take styles and style boards and publish them, in a sense, on the larger internet so people got a point of view on fashion.”

On Nordstrom’s approach to technology, Mesrobian said “there is not a goal of being an early adopter, for the sake of there being an early adopter. It has to make sense to create a value with that innovation.”

He also said, “The world is going to see an explosion of different facets of augmented and virtual reality. We are seeing pilots of it now. There are flares, metaphorically that are out there.

“The challenge is the world is moving from being transactional to one of engagement.” It’s not just about getting points for purchase, he suggested. “Loyalty is a vehicle for experience — invitations to a party, a fashion show, early access to fashion — not just transactions. That’s on our journey toward engagement as our North Star.”