Moosejaw names Comerford new CEO on heels of Kanter’s departure

Moosejaw promoted Eoin Comerford as its new president and CEO Wednesday, a day after the departure of Harvey Kanter, who left the position to take top job at Internet jeweler Blue Nile. Moosejaw officials tell SNEWS a succession plan was in place.
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Moosejaw Mountaineering promoted Eoin Comerford as its new president and CEO Wednesday, a day after the departure of Harvey Kanter, who left for the top job at Internet jeweler Blue Nile.

Comerford, who has been with Moosejaw as senior vice president of marketing since 2008, was a logical next leader for the outdoor retailer, officials said, pointing to his role in company’s shift to a multi-channel retail platform, mobile point-of-sale checkout in stores and a new mobile ecommerce site.

Officials told SNEWS the company’s board was aware of the changes and had a succession plan in place to promote Comerford, following Kanter’s decision. The company also has begun a search for a new head of marketing.

“Where else could you release a catalog where customers use an X-Ray iPhone app to see models in their underwear, almost lose an eye in an office Nerf gun fight and run a free beer promo all in the same year? No place but Moosejaw,” Comerford said in a release. “I’m excited to lead Moosejaw to even more amazing customer engagement and innovative brand marketing.”

“We are very pleased to turn the reins over to Eoin,” said Jed Johnson, Moosejaw board chairman and senior partner of Parallel Investment Partners. “We’re confident that he will continue to execute the strategic direction that has driven Moosejaw to double industry growth over the past two and a half years.”

One of the nation’s fast-growing online outdoor retailers, Madison Heights, Mich.-based Moosejaw is opening more physical locations with a business model increasingly known as click-and-mortar. The retailer opened its eighth store in Natick, Mass. earlier in March, plans to open its ninth in Boulder, Colo. in May and more within the next 36 months.

Kanter, who served as Moosejaw’s president and CEO for three years departs not only the company, but also the industry. Kanter, who also previously worked with Eddie Bauer managment, will be tasked with turning around Blue Nile’s Internet jewelry business, which has struggled “amid weaker U.S. engagement-ring sales and higher wholesale-diamond prices,” according to its hometown paper, the Seattle Times.

--David Clucas

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