REI Co-op names Eric Artz as full-time CEO
Outdoor lifestyle company REI Co-op's board of directors has named Eric Artz as its new president and CEO, effective immediately.
Artz has served as the company's interim CEO since February 2019, and is the eighth person to serve as CEO in REI's history.
Artz began his career with REI in 2012 as chief financial officer, later becoming chief operating officer in 2014. During his time with the co-op, he has overseen departments including digital retail, finance, corporate strategy, and IT. Prior to joining the company, he served as chief financial officer at Urban Outfitters, among other leadership roles, and spent 17 years at VF Corporation.
Board chair Steve Hooper announced Artz' appointment at the co-op's annual member meeting at its Washington, D.C. flagship on May 6.
"After a thorough national search, it was clear to us that the best person for the job was already leading the co-op," Hooper said. "To his core, Eric believes in the purpose and impact of the co-op."
The company’s new president and CEO currently serves as vice chairman of the board of the Outdoor Industry Association and sits on the board of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust in Washington State. He is also an advisor to Earth Lab, part of the University of Washington's College of the Environment.
During the event, Artz added that in 2019, REI will cross the $100 million mark in philanthropic giving.
REI recently reported 2018 as its strongest year on record, with earnings of $2.78 billion for the year and year-over-year growth in revenues every year since 2003. According to the co-op, the income boost has helped REI expand its used gear and rental programs, reinvest more than 70 percent of its profits in the outdoor community and advance its sustainability initiatives.
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