Mountain Equipment Company (MEC) has tapped REI veteran chief merchant Chris Speyer as the Canadian company’s new chief merchandising officer (CMO).

Speyer, who has worked as REI Co-op’s CMO for the last seven years, reportedly brings over thirty years of leadership experience in the specialty outdoor retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer businesses.

Speyer will officially join MEC’s executive team at the end of July.

“We are ecstatic to welcome Chris to our team at MEC,” said Peter Hlynsky, CEO of MEC. “With his deep industry knowledge and longstanding vendor relationships, he brings expertise that is going to elevate our teams and support our next phase of growth. Chris leads with values and has a genuine passion for the outdoors, in total alignment with MEC’s core principles. His remarkable track record of working with different brands and growing the private label business will be instrumental in maximizing the potential of MEC’s own label brand and continuing to offer top-tier assortments at the best price to members.”

“Passionate about the outdoors and dedicated to working with values-led companies, Chris’ Canadian roots run deep,” MEC said. “He grew up in Ottawa, where his Mom encouraged his participation in the outdoors, and his early industry career saw him selling skis, bikes and athletic footwear at a local store.” Reportedly, Speyer is an avid cyclist, skier and trail runner.

“Having been an MEC member since the late 90s when he lived in Calgary, he recognizes the immense potential of MEC and is eager to contribute his skills to the brand’s continued success,” the company wrote in a media release.

“Joining MEC feels like coming home,” said Speyer. “I still remember flipping through the seasonal catalog, inspired by the amazing photos and gear. Beyond the thrill of returning to Canada, I’m drawn to how MEC stays true to its founding values. It’s a beloved brand that prioritizes great people and great products, aligning perfectly with my values and leadership style. I’m beyond excited to be part of the team and help MEC continue to thrive and succeed!”

Images courtesy MEC