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REI Co-op Announces New Chief People Officer; Two Leadership Promotions

Published March 17, 2023

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Apple Musni joins the co-op March 20; Chris Speyer and Isabelle Portilla promoted into new roles

Mar 16, 2023

REI Co-op announced today that it has hired Apple Musni as its new Chief People Officer and promoted two leaders to new positions. Musni joins the co-op March 20. Chris Speyer has been promoted to senior vice president, chief merchandising officer, and Isabelle Portilla has been promoted to vice president, Co-op Brands, both effective immediately.

"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," said Eric Artz, REI president and CEO.

"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."

Chief People Officer

Musni will be responsible for the full expression of REI's people-first strategy, leading the teams that shape the co-op's industry-leading compensation and benefits offerings, progress the best-in-class experience for its employees, provide HR business partnership to teams across the company, design innovative talent strategies and advance the co-op's racial equity commitments.

"It is a privilege to join the REI team and support amplifying how the mission of the co-op comes to life through its employee experience. I am passionate about the co-op's purpose of awakening a lifelong love of the outdoors for all and its belief that time outside is a human right," said Musni. "I have admired REI over the years as it continues to receive accolades for 'best places to work', lead with its values through statements and action, and launch offerings that focus on what matters most to its people—like the REI Access Plan. Anyone who works in HR knows that REI is the gold standard for how it invests in and cares for its employees."

Musni was most recently vice president, field people experience and recruiting at Chipotle Mexican Grill, where she was responsible for the people strategy and initiatives that delivers best in class staffing, engagement, retention and development of field employees. She previously led HR and Operational functions at McDonald's and Target Corporation. Outside of work, Musni serves as a board member for the United Ways of California and as a member of the CNBC Workforce Executive Council. She loves to travel, explore new food and adventures, and spend time with her family.

Senior Vice President, Chief Merchandising Officer 

As the co-op’s chief merchandising officer, Speyer will continue REI’s industry-leading efforts in innovation and sustainability to drive world-class offerings for REI’s growing member base. He joined the co-op in 2017 as vice president of Co-op Brands, REI’s private label known for innovative design and responsible manufacturing. Speyer’s role expanded to include leadership of REI’s merchandising teams in 2021. Speyer also serves as executive sponsor of PRISM, REI’s inclusion network for LGBTQ+ employees and allies. 

“In my experience the co-op’s two superpowers, and what I think make it unique, are its people and its values. I've never worked with a group of people who feel more invested in each other and in the purpose of their work,” said Speyer. “I’m honored and excited to continue my journey with REI and to serve in this leadership role.” 

Outside of work Speyer enjoys spending time with his family and in the mountains on the trails or deep in the snow. 

Vice President, Co-op Brands 

Portilla joined the co-op in 2017, leading product strategy and design for Co-op Brands, including ongoing product collaboration with Outdoor Afro Inc. In her new role, her mix of strategic and operational excellence will accelerate Co-op Brands’ growth to the largest, most sustainable brand in our assortment. 

“My experience at the co-op has surpassed my expectations. Every day I feel inspired by our mission, our values, and most importantly our people,” said Portilla. “We are truly a collective, working toward positive change, all in the name of sharing the love of life outside.” 

Outside of work, Portilla enjoys outdoor adventures with her family, as well as yoga, climbing, strength training, cooking, and reading. 

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 21.5 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 181 locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI 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.

Apple Musni.

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