REI Co-op promotes two new executives to senior leadership team

Nov 25, 2019

SEATTLE – REI Co-op announced today the promotion­­ of two team members to new leadership positions: Chris Putur to executive vice president of technology and operations and Kate Wendt to vice president of strategy.

“Chris and Kate are tremendous co-op leaders. They both are experienced and thoughtful leaders who are committed to inspiring and enabling our members to connect with the outdoors,” said REI CEO Eric Artz. “I’m excited to see their influence grow as they step into these new roles.”

Executive Vice President of Technology and Operations
Chris Putur has been promoted to executive vice president of technology and operations. Putur has served the co-op for two years as CIO and brings more than 25 years of retail experience.

“Since joining the co-op, I have an even greater appreciation of the unique role we can play in people’s lives,” says Putur. “I feel honored to work with teams across the organization to influence the ways technology helps us experience and connect with the outdoors.”

As part of her new role, Putur will lead the co-op’s IT, Information Security, Supply Chain and Continuous Improvement teams.

Putur’s love for the outdoors expands beyond the walls of REI. Outside of work, she’s an avid runner and hiker, recently completing a Mount Rainier climb.

Chris Putur sitting in front of a wooden wall.

Vice President of Strategy
Kate Wendt has been promoted to vice president of strategy. Wendt has served the co-op for five years and has been instrumental in the development of REI’s strategy and long-range plan.

“I’m excited to help us courageously embrace change that builds relevance and expands our impact,” says Wendt. “Our momentum this year is a direct reflection of the amazing teams that are bringing REI’s customer-focused growth agenda to life.” 

Wendt also loves to trail run, hike and backpack.

Kate Wendt in front of a wooden wall.

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 20 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at, 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 that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities 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.