Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 128

solutions etsy
www.etsy.com / HQ: Brooklyn, N.Y. / Specialty: Peer-to-peer e-commerce / Roman Sobieri, head of shipping and orders: "I started as a rocket scientist and now I'm moving
boxes around the world. But Etsy is an amazing company and really helps creative micro entrepreneurs."

Ready for Launch
Etsy hires a rocket scientist with diverse experience
to run its shipping department. By Kat Zeman
If you call Roman Sobieri a rocket scientist, it
won't be an exaggeration.
He started his career in
aerospace as a mechanical
engineer in 1990. For 10
ROMAN
years, he worked for Pratt
SOBIERI
head of shipping
& Whitney, the East Hartand orders
ford, Conn.-based aerospace manufacturer with global
service operations.
With a job that took him all over
the world, his exploits included
Africa and the Middle East. He
zigzagged his way through China
and Japan and made stops in Zimbabwe, Yemen and Israel.
"I've been every place where
there's been an airline," says Sobieri, who is the new head of shipping
and orders at Etsy, a Brooklyn, N.Y.based peer-to-peer e-commerce
website focused on handmade or
vintage items and supplies.
"When I started, I focused on jet
engines. I was helping the airlines
maintain those engines. I would go
to their airports and look at what
they were doing. It was enjoyable
work and I liked traveling."
But when the 1990s ended and
aircraft manufacturing profits
started to take a nosedive as the
country headed towards recession,
Sobieri decided to split. It was
time for a new adventure. A global
computer network, called "the
internet," was all the rage. "I saw
that the airline industry was going
to go through some downturns
128

Supply Chain World FALL 2017

and I decided to get involved with
the internet," he says.

The Digital Age
Before the smartphone brought
digital photography to the masses, there was the digital camera.
The early 2000s were a time when
people still valued a paper print.
But since the digital camera has
no film, companies needed a venue for developing their photos.
Enter Fujifilm.
The company hired Sobieri as its
director of product management
and operations. During his eight
years with Fujifilm, he led the
company into e-commerce and the
digital imagining business. "They
were used to making money from

Etsy caters to an online
community that allows crafters,
artists and collectors to sell
handmade and vintage goods,
as well as craft supplies.

printing photos," he says. "But
they wanted to see if they could
make money on digital images."
Sobieri helped Fujifilm grow its
digital business from zero to more
than $100 million in annual sales.
"In the beginning, I would go to a
sales meeting and they would say
they made $50 million developing
film and I would say we [digital]
made more like $50," he says. "In
five years, it almost flipped to where
digital was making $50 million and
film developing was disappearing.
It was an amazing time to watch
something that had been around
for almost 100 years disappear."
His responsibilities included
managing all e-commerce product
strategy, online marketing and



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Supply Chain World - Fall 2017

Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover2
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 1
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Contents
Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - 3
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Supply Chain World - Fall 2017 - Cover3
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