Outdoor retailer REI names first CIO

Outdoor specialty retailer REI promoted Julie Averill from VP of IT to CIO, making her the company's first ever CIO.

"Over the past year and a half, Julie has effectively led investments in technology that enhance the employee experience and strengthen our service to more than 5.5 million members," said Eric Artz, REI's CFO and COO. "I'm delighted to promote Julie to serve as REI's first CIO. She hit the ground running and is leading some of our most important work streams."

Averill started at REI in 2014 and has 25 years of experience in technology leadership, including as Nordstrom's VP of technology.

As CIO, Averill will be responsible for business intelligence, strategic merchandising, retail technology, digital experiences and IT infrastructure. REI is the largest consumer co-op in the U.S., which means Averill will also align REI's technology initiatives with the co-op strategy.

The team she oversees will be key in the opening of REI's third distribution center—opening in Arizona next year—that will enable faster product replenishment and delivery to 40 of the retailer's 140 stores.

REI is currently recruiting for the IT team and will open a satellite office this September in the Eastgate neighborhood of Bellevue, Washington, to serve as its technology hub. Press Release