- Orvis has named its first chief brand experience officer, tapping Athleta's former chief marketing officer, Sheila Shekar Pollak, for the position. Pollak joined the board of directors at Orvis in February 2021.
- Pollak will take on the role Feb. 14 and will be responsible for growing the company's awareness and customer base, building community and leading storytelling around the brand's values, according to a company press release.
- Pollak spent 16 years at Gap Inc, including 10 years at Athleta, where she oversaw double-digit revenue and earnings growth. Pollak also launched the brand's well-known Power of She platform, which is still actively being used by Athleta.
Orvis is reshaping its executive team, with the arrival of Pollak just the latest in a series of leadership appointments. The outdoors retailer, which specializes in fly fishing, dog products and active apparel, also named a chief product officer and a chief people officer in the past two years.
Reenie Benziger, who has experience at Gap and Nike, took on the chief product officer role in December 2020, while Rebecca Jones joined to lead the company's HR team in October last year.
"Over the last decade, we've doubled down on our brand vision through an omnichannel approach, and we've tapped Sheila to work with our incredible team to continue delivering on our ethos," Orvis President Simon Perkins said in a statement. "Her 20-year career growing and strengthening global, mission-driven brands made her a clear choice to elevate what Orvis stands for in the lives of our customers and partners across all touchpoints."
At Athleta, Pollak worked on championing women, building on the brand's ethos of being built by women for women. The athletics brand signed Allyson Felix as its first-ever sponsored athlete under Pollak, after the Olympian spoke out against Nike for its treatment of pregnant athletes. The company also launched a men's focused athletics brand, dubbed Hill City, which was sold in some Athleta stores before it shuttered in the midst of the pandemic. At the time of the brand's debut, Pollak stressed the importance of keeping it separate from Athleta, which "uniquely delivers for women and girls."
Pollak left Gap in July 2020 and took up the role of senior vice president and CMO at Biossance. At Orvis, she is focused on maintaining relationships with customers that often span "decades if not generations."
"With outdoor participation at an all-time high and wellness and conservation being more important to people than ever before, we are well-positioned to create positive impact for our customers and all those seeking an inspired life outdoors for the next 165 years," Pollak said in a statement.