Julie Wainwright

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Julie Wainwright
Nationality United States
Alma mater Purdue University

Julie Wainwright is the former CEO of the now-defunct Pets.com and current CEO of The RealReal, a luxury consignment website that sells luxury items, deals and recycling.[1] Wainwright was named "one of the 50 Most Influential Business women in the Bay Area by San Francisco Business Times, and was one of Microtimes' Top 100 Technology Executives for 1997".[2] She is the author of ReBoot: My Five Life-Changing Mistakes and How I Have Moved On, a book chronicling her experiences at Pets.com and SmartNow.

Early in life, she began working for The Clorox Company in brand management and computer software.[3] By age 30 she replaced Wes Boyd as CEO of Berkeley Systems[4][5] where she was instrumental by changing the company's strategy by making it a leading interactive entertainment entity.[2] As president and CEO of the company, she had reduced a two year decline in productivity.[6] She was among one third of the employees that were laid off from Berkeley[6] when the company was sold to CUC in late 1996.[7]

After this, she went on to Reel.com as the company's President and CEO, replacing founder, Stuart Skorman.[3] After 27 months, Reel.com was sold for $100,000,000 to Hollywood Video after which she left and was replaced by Jeff Jordan, currently the President of OpenTable.com. At this time she had almost 20 years of experience with software, technology and consumer-product industries.[2] She was immediately tabbed by John Hummer of HummerWinblad Ventures to run Pets.com.

Julie Wainwright was CEO of Pets.com, which ceased operations 268 days after its initial public stock offering and was "one of the shortest-lived public companies on record" according to Kirk Cheyfitz, author of Thinking Inside the Box: The 12 Timeless Rules for Managing a Successful Business.[8] After shutting down Pets.com in November 2000, her husband asked her for a divorce.[9] Wainwright has said that this was a very difficult time in her life: "I had two major life crises in the same week, one public and one private, that sent me on a journey of self-discovery and healing I couldn’t have anticipated."[1]

When Pets.com shut down, Wainwright was given $50,000 as a performance bonus by the board members on top of her normal $165,000 bonus and a severance package of $165,000.[10] She then founded SmartNow.com, a website for women, in 2008.[3][11] It was shut down in 2012.

In 2003 she was named president of and replaced Steve MacDonald as CEO[12] of an online photo enhancement service called Mountain View's Bellamax, Inc. and CEO of OntheFrontier.[13]


  1. ^ a b Miller, Claire Cain (August 1, 2008). "Chief of Pets.com Is Back, Minus the Sock Puppet". New York Time. Retrieved April 24, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c Business Week (accessed April 25, 2009)
  3. ^ a b c SmartNow (accessed April 25, 2009)
  4. ^ Confessions of a Serial Entrepreneur, page 128, By Stuart Skorman, Catherine S. Guthrie, Published by John Wiley and Sons, 2007, ISBN 0-7879-8732-8
  5. ^ San Francisco Business Times; Milken's Knowledge expands with Discovery Centers buy (accessed April 25, 2009)
  6. ^ a b San Francisco Business Times; Berkeley Systems wagers $10M on Internet games (accessed April 25, 2009)
  7. ^ San Francisco Business Times; Oracle lays out framework for headquarters growth(accessed April 25, 2009)
  8. ^ Kirk Cheyfitz (2003). Thinking Inside the Box: The 12 Timeless Rules for Managing a Successful Business. Simon & Schuster. pp. 30–32. ISBN 978-0-7432-3575-4. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  9. ^ San Francisco Chronicle; Julie Wainwright is so over the dot-com bust (accessed April 25, 2009)
  10. ^ San Franc isco Chronicle; CEOs bail for cash landings (accessed April 25, 2009)
  11. ^ http://allthingsd.com/20080708/smartnows-julie-wainwright-speaks/
  12. ^ San Francisco Chronicle; Double exposure: Digital photo firm's CEO packs past flash (accessed April 25, 2009)
  13. ^ [1] San Francisco Chronicle; Wainwright finds new ship to sail (accessed April 25, 2009)

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