REI taps Eric Artz as new president and CEO - SNEWS

Eric Artz tapped as REI's new president and CEO

The leadership switch follows the sudden resignation of Jerry Stritzke in February.
Author:
Publish date:
Eric Artz

Eric Artz stepped into the interim CEO role and was recently chosen as the permanent leader.

It's been nearly four months since Jerry Stritzke resigned as REI's CEO and president following an internal investigation that uncovered his “personal and consensual relationship" between him and a leader of another organization in the outdoor industry.

But now, the co-op has a new leader.

Eric Artz, who has served as interim CEO since February, was chosen by the board of directors to lead the co-op after a national search. Board chair Steve Hooper shared the news at the company's annual meeting on Monday at its flagship store in Washington, D.C.

“It is such a great honor to serve this organization," Artz said Monday. "REI is so much bigger than a single person. You need to know that I am here to serve you. What you all do, each day, as employees and members of REI, makes a difference in people’s lives. My job is to help you reach more people. The fight for life outdoors starts right here at REI.”

Artz has been with REI for seven years, most recently as chief operating officer and before that as chief financial officer. Artz and his team recently reported 2018 as its strongest year on record, with earnings of $2.78 billion and year-over-year revenue growth since 2003.

He is also the vice chairman of the board of the Outdoor Industry Association and sits on the board of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in Washington. He is also an advisor to Earth Lab, part of the University of Washington’s College of the Environment. Previously, Artz was CFO at Urban Outfitters and spent 17 years at VF Corporation.

REI is a retail giant in the outdoor industry: It's opening new locations across the country, growing its member base of more than 18 million, reinvesting more than 70 percent of profits in the outdoor community and sustainability, and crossing the $100 million mark in philanthropic giving this year.

“Our purpose at REI—our reason for being—is to awaken a lifelong love for the outdoors, for all," Artz said. "Because if we can’t help people to be connected with nature, how can we expect them to care for the long-term health of the planet?”

Related

black and white photo of Jerry Stritzke in puffy jacket and hat

REI's Jerry Stritzke resigns after investigation into personal relationship

REI President and CEO Jerry Stritzke is resigning on March 15 after he and the Board of Directors agreed that his relationship with another leader in the outdoor industry is a perceived conflict of interest. Rob Discher, director of communications and public affairs, had "no ...read more

REI_CEO_JerryStritzke

REI names former Coach executive Jerry Stritzke as new CEO

REI stepped outside the industry in naming former Coach executive Jerry Stritzke as its new CEO over Labor Day weekend. Strizke replaces Sally Jewell, who left the position earlier this year to serve as Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. His first day on the job ...read more

Female moose standing in a clearing by a river with forest around.

Industry Buzz: Support outdoor journalism, how Artz runs REI, Grassroots Connect's new show dates, Access Fund Summit Celebration, new leadership at Burton

Industry headlines: Intriguing reads from around the web Here’s an idea: Why not use all the unspent trade show dollars from 2020/21 to support journalism in the outdoor industry? [Pale Morning Media] How Artz runs REI: A look at how the chief executive of REI has handled changes ...read more

REI storefront on a sunny day.

REI drops CamelBak, Giro, Bell, Camp Chef and other Vista brands (at least temporarily)

REI has placed a hold on future orders with Vista Outdoor brands, such as CamelBak and Giro, as a global gun control debate mounts. The U.S. cooperative's decision comes the same day as its counterpart in Canada, Mountain Equipment Co-op, severed ties with several outdoor brands ...read more

REI-spot-fin

Is REI too big?

If it’s not a big-box store and it’s not an independent specialty retailer, then what exactly is it? REI Co-op defies easy definition. It’s a builder of brands and a risk to them. It competes with smaller shops around the country while throwing its weight around to protect ...read more

pink and purple sky and snow at mather point in the grand canyon

REI's Jerry Stritzke: How to help the national parks right now

As the government shutdown stretches into its fourth week—the longest in U.S. history—we're seeing more brands and organizations chime in on the . Last week, Columbia ran a full-page ad in the Washington Post about keeping the national parks open and funding the government. The ...read more

black and white photo of Jerry Stritzke in puffy jacket and hat

REI CEO Jerry Stritzke: We don't support Trump's executive order on immigration

Another outdoor industry CEO weigh's in on Trump's controversial executive order from Week One of his presidency. REI employees received this letter Monday from CEO Jerry Stritzke, about the co-op's opposition to President Donald Trump's immigration ban and its commitment to ...read more

REI tent with sleeping bags inside

REI revamps used gear site

Chaco classic sandals for $50. Burton snowboard boots for $70. A The North Face parka for $138. No, these aren't items on Craigslist. These are listed on REI's used gear site, which received a facelift this week, plus new brands and more product categories. The revamp also ...read more

Backcountry's women's clothes

Backcountry.com’s new collections serve women well

One of Diana Seung’s favorite pieces in the new Backcountry.com line is a pair of knickers, light enough to fit under a ski bib but designed to keep women warm all day in the mountains. It was such a hit, men wanted them too, she said. Seung, the executive vice president of ...read more