- Adding another experienced exec to its leadership team, REI Co-op has hired Apple Musni to be its new chief people officer, the retailer announced on Thursday. Upon joining the company on Monday, Musni will provide human relations business partnership to teams across the company, lead staff that shape the company’s compensation and benefits packages, and advance the retailer’s racial equity goals.
- The company also promoted Chris Speyer to senior vice president and chief merchandising officer, where he will continue building on innovation and sustainability in REI’s assortment. After joining the company in 2017 as vice president of co-op brands, the company expanded Speyer’s role in 2021 to include leading its merchandising teams.
- REI also promoted Isabelle Portilla to vice president of Co-op Brands, where she will be tasked with growing the private label. Portilla joined the company in 2017 to lead product strategy and design for Co-op Brands.
REI is continuing to add new faces to its leadership team. In October, the retailer appointed Mary-Farrell Tarbox as its new vice president of physical stores and retail operations, putting her in charge of the company’s nearly 180 stores and retail operations team. The following month, the company named Patrick Fell vice president of financial planning and analysis. Now, the company is tapping into Musni’s experience in previous human resource and operational roles at companies like Chipotle Mexican Grill, McDonald’s and Target.
“As a values-led organization, we measure our success as a company by our positive impact on our employees, our members, society and our business. Apple brings a breadth of experience in retail and customer service, and a strong point of view about how a progressive company with a strong ethos infuses its values through its people strategy,” Eric Artz, REI president and CEO, said in a statement.
“Chris and Isabelle are both experienced leaders who have driven massive impact for the co-op in their tenure here and are well-positioned to lead our merchandising and Co-op Brands teams into the future,” Artz added.
But as it alters its leadership, the retailer also shed workers this year. The company laid off 167 employees from its corporate office in February, about 8% of its headquarters staff. The layoffs were aimed at reorganizing the business around the company’s “areas of highest impact,” according to the retailer.
The retailer has also made notable changes to its product assortment and in-store strategy. In late February, the retailer announced that it would require its suppliers to stop using “forever chemicals,” or PFAS, in cookware and textile products, a move it made after banning the chemicals in other products. Last year, citing growth in the running category, the company said it will pilot new store layouts and expand its employee training in running products.