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Mark DeYoung steps down as CEO of Vista Outdoor

Published July 10, 2017
Mark DeYoung

FARMINGTON, Utah (BRAIN) — Mark DeYoung has agreed to "accelerate his retirement plans" and step down as chairman and CEO of Vista Outdoors, the parent company of Bell, Giro, Bolle, CamelBak and other brands. DeYoung is being replaced temporarily by Michael Callahan, Vista Outdoor's lead independent director, who has been named Interim Chairman and CEO

The Vista board has hired an executive search term to assist in hiring a permanent CEO.

"On behalf of the board and the entire Vista Outdoor team, I'd like to thank Mark for his service and many contributions to the company," said Callahan in a statement Monday. "Mark led the creation of the company that became Vista Outdoor, directed it through its successful spin-off from ATK, and grew it into a diversified global leader in outdoor recreation. Given the opportunities and challenges that come with significant change in our industry, and the likelihood that Mark would elect to retire at the end of his employment agreement, the board and Mark mutually determined that now is the time for a new leader to guide Vista Outdoor in its next phase of growth. Therefore, we collectively agreed it was appropriate for Mark to accelerate his retirement plans and for us to begin the search for his replacement.

"I'm pleased to step into the role of Interim Chairman and CEO to help support a smooth transition of leadership while the Board conducts a thorough search for the Company's next CEO. I look forward to working with the company's excellent team as we remain committed to providing our customers with innovative and high-quality products. We will also maintain our focus on expanding our brands' e-commerce presence, reducing inventory, and driving continuous improvement. Vista Outdoor is well positioned to capitalize on the significant growth opportunities in the outdoor recreation industry, and the board and I are excited about our future."

Callahan said that the company had a strong performance in its most recent quarter, although officials results won't be announced until Aug. 10.

DeYoung said, "After a long and rewarding career, it is now time for me to move on to the next phase of my life. Vista Outdoor is the culmination of a vision focused on creating a world- leading outdoor recreation company. It has been a rewarding experience to have led this great company and seen the organization evolve and succeed. I am proud of Vista Outdoor's people, brands, portfolio and products, and I am confident in Vista Outdoor's future. I wish the Company's valued employees and customers all the best."

Callahan, 67, is a former executive at Cabela's and has been the president and CEO of Aspen Partners, a Utah-based consultant to the outdoor sporting industry, since 2008.

Vista Outdoor will hold an investor conference call to discuss the change on Tuesday at 9 a.m. ET. 

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