Qurate Retail Group Remembers QVC Founder and Entrepreneur Joseph Segel
December 21, 2019: Joseph (“Joe”) M. Segel, entrepreneur and founder of QVC, passed away on December 21, 2019 at the age of 88.
Known as the “quintessential entrepreneur,” Mr. Segel’s career spanned more than five decades, having founded over 20 companies in fields as diverse as publishing, minting, photography, aviation, software, hospitality, and television broadcasting. Among his many notable achievements was the launch of QVC, now part of Qurate Retail Group.
Joe founded QVC in 1986 with the idea that we can do it better. The first broadcast took place on November 24, 1986 and was carried by 58 cable systems in 20 states. What Joe started has now grown to reach 380 million homes worldwide through 15 television networks, 11 websites with more than 2.5 billion digital sessions, and interactions with close to 10 million Facebook fans.[i]
“Joe Segel was a remarkable leader, entrepreneur, marketer, teacher, and friend,” said Mike George, President and CEO of Qurate Retail, Inc. which is comprised of eight leading retail brands including QVC. “I’ve had the privilege to know and learn from Joe during my 14 years with QVC and Qurate Retail. He was a visionary whose ideas changed the way the world shops. He instilled the importance of customer focus and putting the customer first in everything we do. These founding values and Joe’s trailblazing spirit are still very much a part who we are today. Joe will be incredibly missed by our company and the broader Philadelphia business community and I’ll be forever grateful for his friendship.”
“Mr. Segel believed in excellence and giving customers more than they expect,” remarked Ginger March, director of Creative Design at QVC, who has been with the company since its start. “I am fortunate to have been one of his many students and close friends. He was loved and admired, and will truly be missed, by all who knew him.”
Program Host Jane Treacy, who also worked with Segel early on at QVC, added, “Joe Segel founded QVC with a thought in mind – that we could do this way of shopping better than anyone else. While he will be sorely missed, we gain strength in the fact that his legacy lives on at QVC and always will.”
Joe retired as chairman of QVC in 1993 and remained an advisor to the company until 2013. Over his lifetime, Mr. Segel was recognized with several prestigious awards and accolades, including the induction to the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame and the Specialty Advertising Hall of Fame. He was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Electronic Retailing Association and held an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree by Drexel University. He also served as chairman of the Philadelphia Presidents Organization.[ii]
QVC is honoring Joe’s legacy across its TV, web, and social platforms. The company is also making a donation in his honor to Philabundance, his charity of choice.