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James Rhee


Executive Chairman & CEO | Founder & President,
Ashley Stewart | FirePine Group
Mr. Rhee is an impact-focused entrepreneur, investor, operator and educator. As both CEO and investment firm founder, Mr. Rhee has generated market-leading returns by creating transformative capital, mindset and operational solutions, broadly defined. He has forged a uniquely diverse and global network, knowledge base and track record that span the private equity, retail/consumer, venture and media/technology communities.

At Ashley Stewart, as Chairman and CEO and investor, Mr. Rhee has transformed a twice bankrupt, unprofitable brick-and-mortar retailer with decades of operating losses into an industry leader founded upon a values-based, social commerce paradigm. FirePine Group, the investment firm he founded in 2009, invests the capital of some of the world’s most sophisticated family offices.

Prior to this, Mr. Rhee was a senior investment professional at two leading, Boston-based investment firms, one specializing in growth and the other focused on distress, where he helped manage billions of dollars of capital. He played a leadership role in multiple platforms, including the carve-out of the Meow Mix brand from Ralston Purina, the purchase and then turnaround of Murray's Discount Auto Stores, the growth catalyst investment in Mattress Firm and the turnaround of Ultra Diamonds.

Mr. Rhee is a visiting lecturer at Duke Law School and teaches frequently about multi-dimensional transformation and the intersection of business and society at the leading educational institutions and professional organizations. He is a regional E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year Award and NRF Foundation Power Player Award winner. He is a member of the NRF Board, where he chairs the Innovation Advisory Committee, and a member of the JP Morgan Chase Advancing Black Pathways Council.

Mr. Rhee received his AB with honors from Harvard College and his JD with honors from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Speaking in:

Tuesday Jan 14
3:30 - 4:00 PM
SAP QualtricsXM Theatre, Level 1
Hear how some of the most innovative leaders from nimble retailers and break-through digital-first brands are meeting consumer needs and disrupting the industry. thredUP president Anthony Marino leads a company that values the immediate... Read more