Former Macy's California CEO to chair tech board

SAN FRANCISCO — Mavatar Technologies has appointed Phil Schlein, former president and CEO of Macy's California and partner at U.S. Venture Partners, as chairman of its board of directors. 

Schlein was at the helm of Macy’s California for 11 years, during which the company saw sales grow from just under $200 million to almost $1.2 billion and profits grow from $17 million to $108 million. Since joining USVP in 1985, he has originated a number of investments in the consumer/retail sector including Ross Stores, Callaway Golf, Petsmart, Fresh Choice and the House of Blues.  

Mavatar is a free iPad app and web browser add-on, allowing consumers to comparison shop across multiple top retailers with one cart, while also automatically searching for the best available coupons and promo codes and applying them at checkout, ensuring shoppers get the best price possible.

"Smart/comparison shopping exists because the Internet enables it and Mavatar, unlike other players, found a way to turn this problem into an opportunity for the top retailers," said Schlein. "The ability to offer valid promo codes right before the transaction greatly facilitates the shopping decision making process which not only enhances the shopper's experience but also decreases the shopping cart abandonment rate; a problem that is getting out of hand with the outburst of recommendation engines and target marketing."

In recent years, Schlein has been active in the consumer products areas, serving on the boards of directors of VisaNow, Tea Collections and other privately held companies. He was an adviser to the late Steve Jobs and served as a director of Apple from 1979 to 1987. Schlein has a B.S. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

"Phil has been engaged with Mavatar from the inception as a great sounding board, offering advice and insight into this industry," said Susan Akbarpour, co-founder and president of Mavatar

"We are thrilled and honored to have someone of Phil's professional and industry pedigree join our board," said Brom Mahbod, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Mavatar. "His illustrious financial and retail career is unparalleled as he provides us invaluable advice and guidance while Mavatar continues to grow as a promising company." 

Mavatar supports Macy's, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Banana Republic, Gap, Sephora, Old Navy, Bloomingdale's, Levi's, Athleta, Bergdorf Goodman, Quicksilver, Horchow, Last Call and Piperlime.