Interview with Charlie Cole, Samsonite's Global Chief Ecommerce Officer




Are you a chief marketing officer? Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of information available about Amazon, when working out the best strategy for your brand? If so, you will really gain a lot from today's show.

We're having a conversation with a special guest, Charlie Cole, today. Charlie has been in e-commerce for more than ten years. He is both the Global Chief E-commerce Officer at Samsonite and the Chief Digital Officer at TUMI. He is also is one of the retail executives that Kiri interviewed for her upcoming book, “Amazon For CMOs”.

The book is, in part, a handbook about the Amazon opportunity, and it's also partially the voice of the industry, from real retail executives like Charlie. In the book, Kiri and her co-author, Mark Power, analyze Amazon's leadership principles and decision-making frameworks, to guide you in making your decisions around this increasingly important channel. The book is due to launch in September.

Charlie became the first Chief E-commerce Officer at Samsonite to maintain his role as Chief Digital Officer at TUMI, as part of the acquisition of TUMI by Samsonite. Heading up the e-commerce channel for luxury luggage brands like Samsonite, TUMI, and all the other brands under the Samsonite umbrella comes with many challenges, and also lots of opportunities in the new Amazon environment. In today's episode, Charlie talks about how his decision-making framework works around e-commerce, and around Amazon in particular. Tune in to hear what Charlie has to share - his insights and his journey through his career arc.

While I’ve been in e-commerce leadership roles and digital leadership roles for my career, I’ve learned where to appreciate other aspects of e-commerce that are really necessary to succeed, such as creativity, merchandising, and customer service.
— Charlie Cole


  • Charlie explains how he is both the Chief E-commerce Officer at Samsonite and the Chief Digital Officer at TUMI.

  • Samsonite, as a company, represents a lot of brands.

  • Charlie talks about his career background.

  • What makes Charlie’s perspective so unique.

  • Why merchandising is such an important skill to have.

  • Creativity is really important in a premium business.

  • The areas where Charlie had to evolve his thinking to avoid being over-analytical.

  • Charlie describes the best mix of qualities for a business to have.

  • Charlie has always appreciated the idea of ruthless pragmatism, as it pertains to analyzing things.

  • We should all strive for accountability, particularly with digital media. 

  • One of Charlie's biggest challenges. 

  • Distributing becomes more powerful as more media channels become available.

  • Defending your brand position in the marketplace.

  • The value of brands driving consumer relationships after the sale.

  • When quality really matters.

  • Something interesting about Amazon's private label.

  • Where Amazon fits within Samsonite.


  • Reach out to Charlie on LinkedIn

  • Learn more about Samsonite & TUMI

  • For the first few days after the launch of “Amazon For CMOs”, on September 24th, the Kindle version of the book will be available for free! So sign up to get your copy. Go to sign up for our email list and to be notified of the launch.