- In a series of leadership appointments Wednesday, REI named its first chief commercial officer. Cameron Janes, who spent over 14 years at Amazon, many of them as vice president of Amazon's stores and physical retail, will be taking on the role come Jan. 3.
- Janes will be responsible for REI's omnichannel experience, including tying together REI's retail and e-commerce channels, and helping to "push the boundaries of how physical and digital retail connect," according to a company press release.
- The retailer also promoted Kelley Hall to executive vice president and chief financial officer, while Vivienne Long was promoted to senior vice president and chief marketing officer.
REI is shoring up its leadership team with a new chief commercial officer position and expanded responsibilities for some of its C-suite.
The role of chief commercial officer has been popular in retail lately, with many retailers across the spectrum introducing the role to their organizations this year, including Glossier last month and DTC home brand Parachute just a day before REI's announcement. Mattress brand Serta also named a chief commercial officer in April this year.
At REI, the position is focused on the connection between e-commerce and physical retail, an area where a longtime Amazon exec focused on its physical business is likely to have a strong background. Janes also brings over three years of experience working in digital media at Walmart, and several roles in consulting.
Long has led REI's marketing and membership strategy since 2019 and will continue to do so in an expanded role. Likewise, Hall has worked as REI's chief financial officer since 2019 and will now take on responsibility for supply chain, as well as the retailer's ambition to "decouple REI's growth from its carbon footprint."
"Kelley and Vivienne are phenomenal co-op leaders, who have helped drive incredible results for our business and our customers, while setting us up for an ambitious growth agenda. Cameron brings a wealth of experience in both physical and digital retail spaces," CEO Eric Artz said in a statement. "These three leaders — alongside the rest of a talented senior team — will position us to continue our terrific momentum into 2022."
Bringing physical shopping experiences to the digital space has been a focus point at REI, especially with the influence of the pandemic pushing customers to shop online more. The retailer last year began offering virtual outfitting appointments to give customers access to its knowledgeable store associates without having to come into the store. Now, some associates spend three days a week talking to customers virtually and two days a week working in stores. The retailer also offers online education for customers around activities like hiking or specific outdoor trips in a bid to connect with shoppers online.