Those who wondered whether Eddie Bauer would stick to its re-established outdoor focus with new leadership got their answer Tuesday with the naming of Michael Egeck as the company’s CEO.
Egeck, a former president at The North Face and most recently Hurley's CEO, is no stranger to the outdoor industry.
With his new job at Eddie Bauer, Egeck, 53, replaces Neil Fiske, who stepped down from the position in February. Fiske led the brand’s efforts to return to its outdoor heritage, including spearheading Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent line.
Egeck told SNEWS he plans to continue that strategy, saying he plans to build off the strong core-outdoor products to improve the brand's message to consumers.
"For an authentic outdoor brand like Eddie Bauer to reach its full potential, it has to address consumers needs for the technical product, the training/travel product (preparing for the activity or getting to the destination) and the lifestyle product," Egeck said. "I'm excited to work with a brand that can stretch in all those directions." The message will continue to start at the technical product level, he said.
On Monday, Egeck announced his departure from Nike’s action, surf and youth sports brand Hurley, where he had been CEO since September 2011. He was introduced and bean the job as Eddie Bauer’s new CEO on Tuesday.
David Chamberlain, executive chairman of Eddie Bauer, who had served as Interim CEO since Fiske's departure in February, will resume his prior role on company’s board of directors. No other changes to the executive team were made, Egeck said.
From 2000 to 2006, Egeck served as president of The North Face, soon after it was acquired by VF Corp., beginning a turnaround for the brand. He gained the role of VF’s outdoor group president 2004, and then moved to serve as VF’s contemporary brand president from 2006 to 2007. Egeck also worked with Columbia Sportswear in the 1990s to help launch the company’s sportswear division.
Eddie Bauer, based in Seattle sells its products direct to consumers through 350 branded stores in the United States and Canada, online and through catalogs. Private equity firm Golden Gate Capital purchased Eddie Bauer out of bankruptcy in 2009 for $286 million.