SEATTLE, Aug. 21, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Leading national outdoor gear and apparel retailer REI promoted Eric Artz, chief financial officer (CFO), to the additional role of chief operating officer (COO), and Susan Viscon, vice president of Merchandising, to senior vice president of Merchandising. Artz and Viscon are part of the company's corporate officer team.
"Eric and Susan are highly-regarded leaders at REI and across the outdoor industry for their deep business knowledge, strategic vision and solid values," said Jerry Stritzke, REI president and CEO. "They, like the rest of our leadership team, are making great strides in furthering our growth through compelling brand narratives, great products and memorable experiences for existing and future co-op members and customers."
Eric Artz, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Eric Artz, CFO, is taking on additional responsibility as COO. He will retain the CFO role. He now has oversight for the company's Digital Retail division and continued leadership of the Finance, Information Technology, Real Estate, Supply Chain and Corporate Strategy divisions.
A retail and outdoor industry veteran with more than 20 years of experience, Artz joined REI in 2012 as CFO. He was most recently CFO at Urban Outfitters and spent many years with VF Outdoor and VF Contemporary Brands in both financial and operational roles.
Susan Viscon, Senior Vice President of Merchandising
Susan Viscon has been promoted to senior vice president of Merchandising. In her expanded role, the company's Merchandising and Private Brands divisions have been united to deliver customers the best in product through award-winning REI-branded products and continued partnership with vendor brands.
Viscon joined REI in 1997. Over the past 17 years, she has held a variety of roles in Merchandising from inventory analyst to general merchandising manager. She was named vice president of Merchandising earlier this year.
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.