June 8, 2004, 12:00 AM

REI to get a new president

Dennis Madsen will retire next March as CEO of REI, which operates stores as well as REI.com and REI-Outlet.com. COO Sally Jewell, an REI employee since 2000, will succeed him.

Recreational Equipment Inc., which operates stores as well as REI.com and REI-Outlet.com, announced today that CEO Dennis Madsen will retire next March. COO Sally Jewell will become CEO. Madsen said he will spend the next 10 months helping to transition leadership to Jewell.

"Dennis` discussions with the board have allowed us the opportunity to thoughtfully consider REI`s future leadership, and we are very pleased that the company has a strong person on its management team ready to assume the top leadership role,” said chairman Bill Britt. “Sally has proven herself as a board member and as a senior executive in the company. It`s a testament to Dennis` leadership that REI has a strong and capable management team ready to carry on the positive legacy that he worked so hard to create."

The 55-year-olkd Madsen began his career with REI as a 17-year-old stocking clerk at a time when the Seattle-based cooperative had one store, a mail order catalog, 33 employees and $1.8 million in sales. Today REI employs more than 6,000 nationally, operates 70 retail stores, runs leading web sites REI.com and REI-outlet.com, and has sales of $805 million.

Jewell joined REI as COO in 2000 after serving as an elected director on the company`s board for four years. Before she joined REI, Jewell spent 20 years in the banking industry, most recently serving as president and CEO of Washington Mutual`s Commercial Banking Group.

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