Jerry Stritzke Named President and CEO of REI
Specialty Retail Brands Veteran to Head Leading Outdoor Company
SEATTLE, Aug. 30, 2013
SEATTLE, Aug. 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Outdoor gear and apparel retailer
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) today named Jerry Stritzke as the company's
president and CEO following an extensive national search. Stritzke most
recently served as president and COO for Coach, Inc. (NYSE: COH), a leading
American marketer of fine accessories for men and women. Stritzke brings to
REI deep experience in retail operations, the building of lifestyle brands and
all aspects of product development and the product supply chain.
"REI's board set high standards in pursuing the company's next CEO," said
Board Chair John Hamlin. "Jerry brings to REI an outstanding record of
success in all aspects of specialty retail, particularly brand building,
operations, and customer insights. He possesses strategic vision, he knows
how to foster a high-performing executive team, and he has proven skills in
navigating the disruptive forces that have become the norm in today's business
world. We are extremely pleased to have attracted an executive of Jerry's
ability to lead REI forward."
ACEO Search Committee was chaired by REI Board Vice Chair, Cheryl Scott, and
included three other board members, including Hamlin. The search was
supported by a leading national executive search firm, and Stritzke was
selected from an outstanding group of business leaders interested in the REI
"I'm enthusiastic to join REI and work for such an iconic brand and respected
employer. It's a great opportunity for me to combine my professional
expertise with the outdoor activities I personally enjoy," said Stritzke.
"REI has earned great success over the years and has a bright future. It is a
strong brand with a rich heritage and an important mission that connects
people to the outdoors. I look forward to working with the talented
management team to help the company deliver on its mission, grow profitably,
and bring outstanding value to the co-op's members and customers."
Coach recently announced Stritzke's resignation, effective September2, 2013.
Stritzke joined Coach in 2008 and helped guide the company through the
recession years while profitably increasing sales from $2.6 to $5.1billion.
The company's sales include global revenues from retail, e-commerce, and
Prior to joining Coach, Stritzke had an eight-year career with Limited Brands,
Inc. Limited Brands is the parent company of retail units that include
Victoria's Secret, Bath & Body Works, La Senza, and Henri Bendel. The company
also owns Mast Industries, an apparel importer. Stritzke began his career at
the Limited Brands in 1999 as the senior vice president of operations. He
then became the CEO of Mast Industries and oversaw all aspects of the apparel
production and sourcing company. In 2006, Stritzke became Co-Leader and COO
of Victoria's Secret. In that role, he oversaw the daily operations of more
than 1,000 retail stores, and his managerial responsibilities included product
development, supply chain, distribution, and the company's brand growth
Stritzke is trained as an attorney and worked in private practice before
transitioning to a consulting firm specializing in retail. An outdoor
enthusiast, he enjoys hiking, fly fishing and rafting, and each year has a
goal of summiting one of Colorado's 14,000-foot mountain peaks.
In addition to his executive experience, Stritzke has served on the board of
apparel company lululemon atheleticafor the past 14months.
As REI's CEO, Stritzke will lead the nation's premier outdoor specialty
retailer for human-powered activities. REI's core offerings include products
for camping, hiking, climbing, bicycling, fitness, and paddle and winter
sports, and adventure travel trips and classes. The company operates 130
retail stores in 32 states, and ecommerce sites, www.rei.com and
www.REI-Outlet.com. The nation's largest consumer cooperative, REI is owned
by its more than five million active members. Anyone may shop at REI, but only
co-op members receive special benefits and a share of the company profits
based on their eligible purchases.
Stritzke will join REI on October1 as the seventh president in REI's 75-year
history. He replaces former President and CEO, Sally Jewell, who left the
company in April when she was confirmed as the Secretary of the U.S.
Department of the Interior. In addition to serving as the company's CEO, he
also will serve as a member of the co-op's board of directors.
REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside
of Seattle. With more than five million active members, REI serves the needs
of outdoor adventurers through innovative products; inspiring classes and
trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear
and clothing in any way they want. This year REI will invest over $3 million
in REI communities to help care for outdoor spaces.
Contact: Libby Catalinich, REI Public Affairs, 253-437-7898, firstname.lastname@example.org
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