REI has a new president and CEO.
Eric Artz has been serving as interim CEO since February and has been with the outdoor apparel and equipment retailer for more than seven years. He joined REI, No. 95 in the Internet Retailer 2019 Top 1000, in 2012 as chief financial officer and was then promoted to chief operating officer in 2014.
“After a thorough national search, it was clear to us that the best person for the job was already leading the co-op,” says REI board chair Steve Hooper.
Prior to REI, Artz was chief financial officer at Urban Outfitters (No. 46) and spent 17 years at VF Corp. (No. 86, which includes brands The North Face, Vans and Timberland) in a variety of leadership roles.
REI reported a strong 2018, with $2.78 billion in 2018 sales, growing 6% year over year, according to a statement. It did not break out ecommerce figures. However, Internet Retailer estimates that its online sales for 2018 totaled $685.0 million, a 15% growth over 2017, according to Top500Guide.com.
REI also noted that it reinvested more than 70% of its profit into the outdoor community and environmental sustainability, and REI will continue to do so, Artz wrote.
In other ecommerce news:
Men’s apparel retailer Indochino Inc. (No. 368) has added to its executive team. It named Alex Buhler chief technology officer, and Vanessa Pillay is vice president of finance. Buhler comes to Indochino from eyewear manufacturer EssilorLuxottica (No. 102), formerly Clearly, where he was chief technology officer for two years, as well as outdoor equipment retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op, where he was chief information officer for more than five years. Before Indochino, Pillay was the financial lead and group controller at Microsoft South Africa for more than seven years.
- Coupon aggregator website Groupon Goods (No. 55) named Craig Rowley as chief marketing officer. He will oversee the company’s global marketing channels, as well as further development of the company’s brand. Prior to Groupon, Rowley was vice president of marketing at REI for four years.
- Fashion e-retailer Bluefly.com is for sale. Advisory board Hilco Streambank is seeking offers to purchase its assets, including its domain name, trademarks, customer data and purchase data, and an auction for its assets will be held on May 8. “The Bluefly.com brand is well recognized by women of all ages, with a high concentration among Generation X and millennial customers, a highly loyal and desirable demographic,” commented Hilco Streambank senior vice president Richelle Kalnit.
- Ascena Retail Group (No. 80) has completed the sale of women’s apparel retailer Maurices to an affiliate of private investment company OpCapita for approximately $300 million. Ascena will continue to support Maurices on its shared business services platform through a managed services agreement, including support for IT, supply chain, sourcing and certain back-office functions.
- Ominichannel logistics company Port Logistics Group has acquired ecommerce platform company Whiplash Merchandising. Port Logistics took an ownership interest in Whiplash in February 2018 and has fulfilled more than 1.5 million orders using Whiplash’s platform, which provides shopping cart integration, warehouse management systems and order management systems. “The acquisition of Whiplash allows us to complement our already robust logistics IT with more complete order management and shopping cart ecommerce solutions demanded by omnichannel shippers today,” says Greg Morello, president and chief commercial officer of Port Logistics Group. Whiplash will continue to operate under its current brand and with its existing leadership team.
- Customer experience and call center software company Genesys has hired Tony Bates as its new CEO. He will take over from Paul Segre, who is staying on as chairman of Genesys. Bates is formerly the CEO of telecommunications platform Skype. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to step into a new role as chairman at this high point in the company’s history and welcome our new CEO, Tony Bates, at a time when there’s so much opportunity for Genesys,” Segre says.
- Walgreens Boots Alliance (No. 43) recently announced a number of leadership appointments: The new appointments include: Gunjan Bhow as global chief digital officer; Heather Dixon as global controller and chief accounting officer, Vineet Mehra as global chief marketing officer; Annie Murphy as global chief commercial officer; and Colin Nelson as global chief supply chain officer. The global chief digital officer, global chief marketing officer, global chief commercial officer and global chief supply chain officer are newly created roles at Walgreens.