Operating Partner

Julian Chu

(617) 630-2423

My mission: helping our management teams chart a course through the rapidly changing digital marketing and direct-to-consumer landscape.

I joined Castanea in 2012 as the first functionally-oriented operating partner at the firm. Previously, I was Head of eCommerce, North America for PUMA, a leading athletic footwear and apparel brand. During my time there, we completely restructured the operating model and drove rapid growth in the direct-to-consumer channel. Prior to PUMA, I launched the Client Success program at ecommerce software company Demandware, working with our fashion, beauty, and specialty brand clients to maximize their growth on the platform. I began my career in strategy consulting and in the late-1990s helped lead the retail practice at venture-backed “eStrategy” firm Mainspring. We went public during the first dot-com boom and were acquired by IBM Global Services after the bubble burst. I spent six years in IBM’s multi-channel retail consulting practice working with large retailers in both North America and Europe.

In my time at Castanea, I’ve helped many of our brands define their DTC strategies, re-design their ecommerce sites, and onboard a variety of marketing and technology partners. I enjoy serving as a mentor and sounding board for the digital and ecommerce leaders within our portfolio, and each year host the Castanea Digital Marketing Leadership Summit to enable them to learn from each other.

Having grown up in Massachusetts, I stayed close to home after earning my B.A. at Harvard University. My wife and I find ourselves busy most nights and weekends shepherding our two boys in a wide range of athletic and other activities.

Julian with Jeni's CCO Ami Mathur at the launch party for The Bruery/Jeni's "Hold the Spoon" collaboration. 
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