MEC looks within for its new CEO

Mountain Equipment Co-op® (MEC) has looked to within its own senior management team for its next chief executive officer. David Labistour, presently MEC’s senior manager of buying and design, has been appointed CEO of Canada’s leading outdoor retailer, the co-operative announced today.
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Vancouver — Mountain Equipment Co-op® (MEC) has looked to within its own senior management team for its next chief executive officer. David Labistour, presently MEC's senior manager of buying and design, has been appointed CEO of Canada's leading outdoor retailer, the co-operative announced today.

The appointment was made by MEC's board of directors last week. It marks the first time in the organization's 36-year history that the top job has been awarded internally. Labistour will assume the CEO position at MEC on January 2, 2008.

“In the four years that David Labistour has been with MEC, he has led a renaissance in our private label products,” said chair Linda Bartlett. “There is no question that he has contributed significantly to the healthy financial position we are enjoying today, and we believe he is the best person to lead this terrific organization through the next chapter in our evolution.”

Labistour has headed up MEC's buying and design teams since 2003. Among others, his achievements include enhancing technical apparel and gear within the key outdoor categories of climbing, paddling and snowsports. He has also spearheaded a product sustainability initiative aimed at reducing the ecological footprint of MEC-brand products.

Labistour's professional experience spans over 25 years working for companies such as Adidas, Woolworths and Artizia. Prior to emigrating to Canada from South Africa in 1999, he held senior merchandise positions with Woolworths, one of South Africa's most successful retailers. More recently, as a consultant to Vancouver-based Aritzia, he worked closely with the company president to develop the fashion retailer's product development structures and processes.

Labistour will take over from Peter Robinson, who has led the Co-op since 2000 and is moving to the chief executive position at the David Suzuki Foundation.

“The depth of experience and skill that exists among the senior management team is evident in David's appointment,” said outgoing CEO Peter Robinson. “It's very gratifying to see the board entrust the leadership position to someone who has contributed to our success and who understands where we need to go next.”

Labistour is an outdoors enthusiast who enjoys backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and paddling. He lives in Deep Cove, BC with his family.

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