Zappos.com Executive to Speak at Oregon State University


CORVALLIS, Ore. – Alfred Lin, COO, CFO and chairman for the giant online retailer Zappos.com, will discuss the importance of building a brand culture in a free public lecture at Oregon State University on Thursday, Oct. 16.

The event is sponsored by OSU's College of Business as part of the Dean’s Distinguished Lecture Series. It will be held in Milam Auditorium, 2520 SW Campus Way in Corvallis, 7 to 8:30 p.m. The title of Lin’s speech will be “Building a Brand that Matters.”

“We are privileged to have Mr. Lin share his first-hand knowledge of innovative management practices and platforms for successful ventures," said College of Business Dean Ilene Kleinsorge. "His discussion will be an excellent opportunity for the community to learn from a leading e-commerce entrepreneur.”

Lin is responsible for all the company’s financial, administrative, and warehouse operations. Since 2005, he has brought focus, strategy and financial discipline to help grow the business efficiently and profitably.

In fewer than 10 years, Zappos.com has gone from an upstart company to the top Internet shoe seller and is forecasted to generate $1 billion in gross merchandise sales in 2008. The e-tailer stocks 3 million pairs of shoes, handbags, apparel and accessories, specializing in more than 1,000 brands that are difficult to find in mainstream shopping malls.

In addition to selling diverse products, Zappos.com prides itself as a service-oriented company.

"In business, we are judged by our ability to delivering great long-term results. What we sometimes forget is that great long-term results are delivered by engaged employees,” wrote Lin on the company’s blog. “That is why at Zappos.com, we spend so much time, energy, and resources to continuously improve our company culture and keep our employees engaged."

Using a Q&A format, Lin will discuss the ingredients to building a brand, culture, and company that matters. He will share the top 10 lessons learned while developing the business, as well as key insights on ecommerce and entrepreneurship.

Prior to joining Zappos.com, Alfred served as vice president of finance and business development at Tellme Networks, helping grow that business from inception to more than $120 million in annual revenue.

Lin also co-founded Venture Frogs, an incubator and investment firm that invested in Internet startups, including Ask Jeeves, Tellme Networks, and Zappos.com. Prior to Venture Frogs, Lin served as vice president of finance and administration at LinkExchange, where he managed the sale of the company to Microsoft for $265 million.