Sophia Amoruso - #GirlBoss - visits GOOD MORNING AMERICA, 5/6/14, airing on the ABC Television Network. ( Ida Mae Astute--ABC via Getty Images)
Ida Mae Astute—ABC via Getty Images
By Charlotte Alter
Updated: January 18, 2015 5:47 PM ET | Originally published: January 13, 2015

Correction appended

Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso is a different kind of #GirlBoss now. The CEO and bestselling author has handed over the keys of her fashion site to president and chief product officer Sheree Waterson, but Amoruso is staying on to oversee the creative and brand marketing departments of the company.

Amoruso made the surprise announcement in a personal video blog on the company’s website. Watch it here:

Thirty-year-old Amoruso’s decision to step down as CEO comes as a shock, especially in the wake of #Girlboss, her bestselling book about female business leadership. But the company has been struggling this year. Nasty Gal laid off 10% of its employees over the summer, and after years of rapid growth, revenues have plateaued around the $100 million mark. She has told investors to lower their expectations for for fall 2014 revenue, indicating that it would be the same as last year at worst or possibly up 10% at best.

Nasty Gal will still be very much Amoruso’s company, and she is presenting the change as a way to play to her own strengths on the creative and branding side (she wrote that the change “will give me the freedom to feel that I’m using my talents at my best and highest”). Waterson agrees. “I actually see myself as support to Sophia so we can unleash her genius,” Waterson told Re/Code. “Taking over the operation of the company allows Sophia to be out and connecting the brand with our customer and all the other amazing people she meets.”

Correction: The headline on an earlier version of this article misstated Amoruso’s change of position. She has resigned as chief executive, but will remain at the company.

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