Jon Barker replaces Hayneedle co-founder Doug Nielsen as chief executive

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Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 12:00 am

Hayneedle, an Omaha-based online retailer, said Wednesday that co-founder Doug Nielsen is stepping down as the company’s chief executive.

Jon Barker, Hayneedle’s former president and chief operating officer, will be CEO of the privately held company, effective immediately. Nielsen will continue as chairman of the board and will be involved in the firm on a day-to-day basis.

“We have incredible talent in our organization and Jon is an exceptional leader,” Nielsen said. “I am truly excited to have him lead our company.”

Nielsen did not say why he was stepping down. A spokesman said the change in leadership was part of the 12-year-old company’s evolution.

Barker, 46, served as Hayneedle’s chief operating officer for five years, and has more than 25 years’ experience in multichannel retailing experience. Barker joined Hayneedle in 2008.

The company said Barker led the development of key company initiatives, including a scalable platform capable of supporting billions of dollars in sales across hundreds of product categories. He also was instrumental in helping to build Hayneedle’s Customer Care Center and a supply chain operation with the capability to deliver products in two days or less to 90 percent of the country.

“As we have since our founding, we remain committed to delivering the best online shopping experience in the industry,” Barker said.

Barker has served in professional and senior management positions at Cornerstone Brands and United Parcel Service.

Hayneedle offers nearly 2million home decor products and other merchandise at Its headquarter offices are at 9394 West Dodge Road, and it has distribution centers in Middletown, Ohio, and Riverside, Calif. The company employs more than 500, including about 450 in Omaha.

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