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REI’s new CEO comes from Coach Inc.

rei1SEATTLE — Northwest outdoor equipment retailer R.E.I. has a new leader.

The board for Recreational Equipment Inc. has selected Jerry Stritzke to take over as the company’s president and chief executive officer.

Stritzke is the former chief operating officer for Coach Inc., a leading marketer of accessories for men and women.

He replaces Sally Jewell, who was named as secretary of the Interior by President Obama earlier this year.

Stritzke will start at R.E.I on Oct. 1.

“R.E.I.’s board set high standards in pursuing the company’s next C.E.O.,” said Board Chairman John Hamlin in a released statement.  “Jerry brings to R.E.I. an outstanding record of success in all aspects of specialty retail, particularly brand building, operations, and customer insights.”

Coach recently announced Stritzke’s resignation.  He joined Coach in 2008 and helped guide the company through the recession years, increasing sales from $2.6 to $5.1 billion.

A news release from R.E.I. describes the new president and C.E.O. as an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys hiking, fly-fishing and rafting.  He also has a goal each year of summiting one of Colorado’s 14,000-foot mountain peaks.

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