The move is the latest in a string of staff changes at REI.
Katie Evans , Senior Editor
Recreational Equipment Inc., a multichannel retailer of outdoor sports gear and apparel, today named Brad Brown senior vice president of direct sales and e-commerce.
With the promotion, Brown, formerly vice president, e-commerce, moves up to senior vice president and adds direct sales to his title. Brown joined REI, No. 62 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, in 1998 as vice president of information technology. He was named vice president of e-commerce in 2006.
In his new role, Brown will oversee the retailer’s online stores, REI.com and REI-outlet.com. He will also lead digital strategies related to sales, community engagement, outreach and membership initiatives, REI says. Brown also will be involved in developing and managing the retailer’s multichannel strategies.
Brown’s promotion was announced today in conjunction with two other staff changes. Bill Baumann has been promoted from vice president of information technology to senior vice president of I.T. Kathleen Pearson moves to vice president, REI private brands.
Baumann joined REI in 2008 as the vice president of I.T. He leads the division responsible for business application services and technical support—including application development and support, personal computing, technical services, and networks.
Peterson joined REI as director of sourcing for the retailer’s Private Brands division in 2007 and was named divisional vice president in August 2011. Before joining REI, Peterson worked with Adidas and Ralph Lauren.
As vice president of REI Private Brands, Peterson oversees design, development and commercial efforts for all REI and Novara-brand products. Peterson replaces Lee Fromson, who was recently named senior vice president of merchandising. REI’s in-house team designs outdoor gear, apparel and bikes sold exclusively by the company under the REI and Novara labels.
"Bill and Brad's promotions recognize the strategic importance of the information technology and e-commerce divisions to provide the infrastructure required to support REI's growth over the next five years," says Brian Unmacht, REI's executive vice president. "Kathleen's remarkable 25-year career with premier global brands serves her well as she leads the expansion of our award-winning branded gear and apparel offerings."
Today’s personnel shifts come on the heels of several other staff changes the retailer announced in the past two months. In late March, REI said it had picked Eric Artz to be its new chief financial officer. Artz will join REI in May from apparel retailer Urban Outfitters. He replaces Ivar Chhina, who left REI in July for personal reasons.
In February, REI named Angela Owen its new marketing chief. Owen previously worked as the retailer’s senior vice president of merchandising. The retailer also named Lee Fromson senior vice president of merchandising in February. He previously was vice president of REI’s private-label division, REI Private Brands.