Brian Unmacht Promoted to REI’s Chief Operating Officer

Role oversees six key divisions

Oct 22, 2012

REI, the nation’s leading outdoor gear and apparel retailer, has promoted Brian Unmacht to chief operating officer, expanding his role to oversee Retail, eCommerce, Merchandising, Private Brands, Information Technology and Supply Chain.

“This well-deserved promotion recognizes Brian’s many contributions to our success and growth over the course of his 26-year career at REI,” said Sally Jewell, president and CEO. “Linking our operations under one leader helps ensure we prioritize our investments and deliver the high-quality products and legendary service that our customers expect."

Unmacht started at REI as a store supervisor in 1986. In the years that followed, he rose through retail management to key leader roles, including regional district manager, director of retail operations, and senior vice president of Retail. In 2008, he was named executive vice president over Sales, Service, Store Development and Logistics. His elevation to chief operating officer weaves together his career at REI, which today includes 127 stores in 31 states, two websites (www.REI.com and www.REI-Outlet.com), award-wining REI and Novara gear and apparel, and REI Adventures, an adventure travel company.

In addition to his role at REI, Unmacht currently serves as first vice chairman on the board of directors for the Outdoor Industry Association. He is also on the board of Seattle-based Bartell Drugs, the oldest family-owned drugstore chain in the nation.

About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 167 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.com, REI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company, a global leader that runs more than 250 itineraries across all continents. In every community where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.