SEATTLE, WA (BRAIN) — REI has appointed retail veteran Jerry Stritzke as its new president and CEO, replacing Sally Jewell, who left the company in April when she was confirmed as the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Stritzke, who started his professional life as a lawyer, most recently served as president and COO of Coach, Inc., a marketer of fine accessories. Prior to joining Coach, Stritzke had an eight-year career with Limited Brands, Inc., the parent company of retail units that include Victoria’s Secret, Bath & Body Works, La Senza, and Henri Bendel. Stritzke began his career at the Limited Brands in 1999 as the senior vice president of operations. He then became the CEO of Mast Industries and later became Co-Leader and COO of Victoria’s Secret.
“REI’s board set high standards in pursuing the company’s next CEO,” said Board Chair John Hamlin. “Jerry brings to REI an outstanding record of success in all aspects of specialty retail, particularly brand building, operations, and customer insights. He possesses strategic vision, he knows how to foster a high-performing executive team, and he has proven skills in navigating the disruptive forces that have become the norm in today’s business world. We are extremely pleased to have attracted an executive of Jerry’s ability to lead REI forward.”
“I’m enthusiastic to join REI and work for such an iconic brand and respected employer. It’s a great opportunity for me to combine my professional expertise with the outdoor activities I personally enjoy,” said Stritzke.
Stritzke enjoys hiking, fly fishing and rafting, and each year has a goal of summiting one of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountain peaks.
In addition to his executive experience, Stritzke has served on the board of apparel company lululemon atheletica for the past 14 months.