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Vista Outdoor appoints interim CEO after Metz resigns at board's request

Published February 2, 2023

ANOKA, Minn. (BRAIN) — On the same day the company released its third-quarter earnings report, Vista Outdoor announced it appointed an interim CEO after its board asked Chris Metz to step down from the position. A release said Metz "agreed to resign as CEO and director at the request of the Vista Outdoor Board based on the Board's loss of confidence in his leadership for reasons not involving financial reporting or internal controls."

Metz was named CEO in 2017 and was set to become CEO of the spin-off outdoor company formed when Vista Outdoor splits into two companies sometime this year.

In an SEC filing Thursday, the company elaborated only a bit more on Metz's departure. "The Board’s request for Mr. Metz to resign was determined in the Board’s discretion to be the best path for Vista Outdoor after the consideration of a number of alternatives. Mr. Metz’s resignation as a director of the Company is not related to any disagreement on any matter relating to the Company’s operations, policies or practices."

Gary McArthur, a member of the board, has been appointed interim CEO effective immediately. 

Michael Callahan, the board's chairman, said, "Gary is a seasoned executive with extensive financial expertise and has played an integral role in driving Vista Outdoor's success. We are grateful for Gary's willingness to step in as CEO on an interim basis and expect him to hit the ground running. We appreciate Chris' contributions to Vista Outdoor and wish him well in his next endeavor."

In a statement, Metz said, "It has been an honor to lead Vista Outdoor for the last six years. Vista Outdoor has an excellent team of dedicated employees who will continue to drive the company's future success. I stand fully behind the planned separation of the Outdoor and Sporting Products segments into two strong, standalone businesses and believe the company has a bright future ahead."

Vista Outdoor said it has entered into an agreement with Metz to ensure access to his institutional knowledge during the transition period. He will remain an non-executive employee until the end of March. 

Vista Outdoor brands include Bushnell, CamelBak, Bushnell Golf, Foresight Sports, Fox Racing, Bell Helmets, Camp Chef, Giro, Simms Fishing, QuietKat, Stone Glacier, Federal Ammunition, Remington Ammunition and more. The company announced last month that it had realigned management of its Action Sports business unit, which includes its bicycle-related brands Fox Racing, Bell, Giro and Blackburn. Vista Outdoor's CFO left the company in November and joined Keurig Dr. Pepper. 

Gary McArthur

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