NBA ALL-STAR JAMES HARDEN JOINS SAKS AS INVESTOR, BOARD MEMBER

by Stephen Garner
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Saks has appointed NBA All-Star, entrepreneur, and investor James Harden as an independent member of its board. Harden, who has made a minority investment in the retailer, brings expertise in helping to grow high-potential consumer brands combined with a unique perspective as a notable fashion enthusiast.

Harden is a leading American professional basketball player for the Brooklyn Nets of the NBA. In addition, he has a proven track record as a successful investor and forward-thinking entrepreneur focused on consumer, sports, and entertainment businesses. His portfolio includes minority ownership of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Houston Dash, as well as stakes in various brands, including Therabody, BodyArmor, Art of Sport, Stance, and Pura, where he serves as creative director. Harden is also the founder of Thirteen, a Houston-based fine dining restaurant.

“As we work to build this new board, James is an important and valuable addition,” said Richard Baker, executive chairman at Saks. “With experience in growing businesses and as someone who values self-expression through fashion, I am confident that he will bring a distinct point of view that will help us better deliver for our customers. His expertise, combined with that of our other board members, will enable Saks to further capitalize on the significant growth opportunity within luxury e-commerce.”

“I am honored to join the Saks board and to be a part of a company that is paving the future of luxury retail,” added Harden. “This is an exciting opportunity for me to combine two of my personal passions – a love of fashion and teaming up with brands that have the potential to lead while making an impact on the communities they serve. I look forward to working with the Saks team, and to having a direct impact on the company’s future success, the fashion community, and its customers.”

In addition to Harden, Deven Parekh and Adam Berger of Insight Partners, a leading growth capital investor and a minority shareholder in Saks, and Franz-Ferdinand Buerstedde of Rhône Capital, have been appointed as board members. Harden, Parekh, Berger, and Buerstedde join Baker, Saks CEO Marc Metrick, and strategic advisor Sebastian Gunningham as board members.

“Saks is poised to be the leader in luxury e-commerce and we have a significant opportunity as a standalone company,” commented Metrick. “With our rapid growth strategy coupled with the unique perspectives of our board members, I look forward to working together to help drive Saks into the future.”