SEATTLE – At REI's annual leadership conference, a gathering of leaders representing 135 stores and all headquarters divisions, company president and CEO Jerry Stritzke announced that Annie Zipfel has been promoted to senior vice president of Marketing. This follows the recent promotion of Julie Averill to vice president of Information Technology and appointment of Mark Stoddard as vice president of Planning, Inventory Management and Operations.
"Annie, Julie and Mark bring strong leadership and expertise to REI. Each of these leaders will have a big impact on how we help our members and customers discover the outdoors," said Jerry Stritzke, REI president and CEO. "Annie has been leading us though a powerful brand refresh and Julie has played an instrumental role in shaping our technology strategy since joining the co-op in February. Mark brings more than 25 years of industry knowledge combined with a love for the outdoors, which makes him a natural fit for REI. I'm delighted to have them on the team."
Zipfel oversees the company's marketing and advertising campaigns, digital engagement, membership program, and customer insights efforts. She joined REI in 2012 as the divisional vice president of Customer Marketing, and was named vice president of the Marketing division in January 2014. Prior to REI, Zipfel held leadership and strategic roles at Target and General Mills. In addition to the co-op, she is on the regional board of the Network of Executive Women, serves on the Kellogg Alumni Council at Northwestern University, and is an alumni advisor to Seattle Kellogg Alumni Club.
With Zipfel's promotion, REI will not hire a chief marketing officer as previously announced, but instead add a senior creative leader to the company.
Averill leads the company's technology organization. She has more than 25 years technology experience, and has served as the interim vice president for the past two months. Before joining REI, she was vice president of technology at Nordstrom where she led many of the company's customer-facing technology innovations over the last decade. She has also served as an adjunct professor in Seattle University's Masters of Software Engineering program, held various consulting roles, and worked at Weyerhaeuser and Ernst & Young.
After a nationwide search, Stoddard assumes the newly created role of vice president, Planning, Inventory Management and Operations. He will provide strategic direction and leadership for inventory management, forecasting, replenishment, operations, and systems teams. Most recently he was the vice president of merchandise planning and allocation for specialty clothing retailer Catherines. Before that, Stoddard was Eddie Bauer's vice president of planning and allocation with oversight of the retail apparel and outlet group.
REI is a $2 billion national multichannel retail co-op headquartered outside of Seattle. With more than five million active members, REI serves the needs of outdoor adventurers through innovative, quality products; inspiring classes and trips; and integrated customer service that allows shoppers to buy great gear and clothing in any way they want. REI has 135 stores in 33 states and REI.com and REI.com/outlet. Anyone may shop with REI, while members pay a one-time $20 fee to receive a share in the company's profits through an annual member refund based on patronage. Membership in the co-op also includes special promotions and discounts on REI Adventures trips and REI Outdoor School classes.