MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) appointed Philippe (Phil) Arrata, a Best Buy Canada executive, as its new CEO, starting July 2. Arrata will take over from David Labistour, who previously announced he was stepping down.

Last November, MEC announced that Labistour would be leaving his role at MEC in June 2019 after 11 years heading the organization.

Arrata has been with Best Buy Canada since 2008 and was most recently its chief financial and administrative officer.

“Phil is a highly-respected leader within the retail industry. He has a strong operations background and a 20-year track record of delivering strategies that are both results and people-oriented,” said Ellen Pekeles, C., director and board chairman, MEC, in a statement. “As a member of Best Buy Canada’s executive team since 2008, Phil has helped transform operations to enhance the customer experience, and he played a key role in the consumer electronics retailer’s recent impressive turnaround. In his current role as chief financial and administrative officer, Phil oversees finance, strategy, supply chain and the business-to-business department.

“Phil is no stranger to MEC. His time serving on the board between 2015 and 2018 means he already understands MEC business and culture, and will be able to hit the ground running. He believes passionately in MEC’s purpose and the potential of the co-op model.”

“MEC is an iconic Canadian organization, and I’m honoured to be part of its special journey,” said Arrata. “I believe passionately in MEC’s purpose and the benefits of leading a healthy, active outdoor lifestyle. I can’t wait to start working with our staff and community to create even more outstanding experiences for our 5 million plus members, while moving MEC forward in an inclusive, thoughtful, and sustainable manner.”

Pekeles added, “As our Co-op approaches its 50th year, I look forward to welcoming Phil to his new role at MEC and beginning the next chapter of our vibrant history.”

MEC has 23 stores across Canada.