WASHINGTON, DC (BRAIN) — The U.S. Senate has approved REI's chief executive Sally Jewell as Secretary of the Interior.
Jewell, 56, was an oil engineer and commercial banker before joining REI as COO in 2000. She became CEO in 2005.
The Outdoor Industry Association applauded the Senate's vote.
“The Department of the Interior needs a leader with a balanced vision for the future of the nation’s lands and waters, and Sally Jewell is that person,” said Frank Hugelmeyer, president and CEO of the OIA. “We thank Secretary Salazar for his leadership and thoughtful, balanced approach to managing our nation’s natural resources.”
When Jewell was nominated to the post, REI appointed Brian Unmacht as the co-op’s interim CEO and said it would begin a national search for a permanent replacement after Jewell's nomination was confirmed. Unmacht has been with REI for 27 years, most recently serving as an executive vice president and COO. REI also named Eric Artz the co-op’s interim COO, reporting to Unmacht. Artz, who is currently REI’s CFO, joined REI in 2012 .
On Wednesday Unmacht thanked Jewell for her work at REI.
“Speaking on behalf of REI’s board and staff, we thank Sally for her 17 years of service to the co-op and wish her all the best with her new adventure in the ‘other Washington’,” he said. “Thanks to her outstanding leadership, REI is in strong shape and well-positioned for the future. As she did at REI, Sally Jewell will lead the Interior department with integrity, balance and wisdom.”