"A sector which usually cultivates its leaders within the company is looking elsewhere to find the talent to lead it into the online world," says an article in the Times
New online hires may not even have retail experience as, in this rapidly expanding area, there is a small pool of talent to choose from, according to Russell Reynolds Associates, the executive search company.
"Talent is very scarce and employers will inevitably have to make trade-offs in terms of which, attributes are important," said Jim Hinds, who leads Russell Reynolds's consumer team.
Surprisingly, the attribute that the retail luminaries rated as least important for a successful online shopkeeper was retail experience. Nor is internet experience top of retailers' wish list. While the first wave of online specialists came from internet operators, such as Amazon and eBay, now retailers are casting a wider net, according to Russell Reynolds.
The full article, including comments from HMV, Tesco Direct and M&M Direct, is available on the Times website