Sportsman’s Warehouse announced the retirement of its chief executive officer, John Schaefer. Schaefer also resigned as a member of the board of directors. Jon Barker, the company’s president and chief operating officer, has been appointed as the company’s chief executive officer and has also been appointed to the board of directors to fill the vacancy created by Schaefer’s retirement.
Schaefer stated, “After a tenure of almost nine years leading our company and watching it grow from 25 stores to almost 90 stores, the time is right to let the next generation of retail executives take over the reins. Our company is in excellent financial shape; our growth strategy is clear and I feel confident about our strong positioning in the outdoor sporting goods niche. I am proud to have had the opportunity to lead this exceptional company.”
Schaefer’s retirement represents the culmination of several years of transition planning. “We recruited Jon Barker as president and COO last March with the expectation that he would not only apply his expertise in heading up our growing e-commerce platform, but would also be prepared in time to be our next CEO,” Schaefer added. “The board and I are all impressed by the significant contributions Jon has made over the last year. We are confident Jon is prepared to lead the company’s next phase of growth by expanding its national retail footprint and accelerating its e-commerce capabilities as a full-fledged, omni-channel retailer.”
Prior to joining the company in March 2017, Barker was VP global officer for Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. where he served in the dual roles of president and CEO of Hayneedle.com, a leading online home furnishings retailer, since 2013, and effective January 2017, as group leader for the Home and Outdoor furnishings categories for U.S. e-commerce across Walmart.com, Jet.com and Hayneedle.com. From 2008 to 2013, Barker was chief operating officer of Hayneedle.com. Prior to Walmart, Barker served as senior vice president of distribution-logistics at Cornerstone Brands from 1999 to 2008, which is comprised of home and lifestyle brands, including Frontgate, Ballard Designs, Garnet Hill, Grandin Road and Improvements.
“On behalf of the board of directors, I want to thank John for the exceptional job he has done guiding our company’s transformation from its challenging position in 2009 to its industry-leading status today,” stated Chris Eastland, chairman of the board and partner at Seidler Equity Partners. “He has worked tirelessly from when we hired him almost nine years ago, achieving results significantly greater than we expected at the time. John’s preparation over the last year for a smooth transition upon his planned retirement is just one example of his thoughtful leadership. We have equal confidence in Jon Barker and the rest of the executive team and expect Sportsman’s will continue to grow and evolve under their leadership in ways that will benefit our shareholders, our employees and our loyal customers.”
Barker stated, “It is a privilege to be appointed as the next CEO for Sportsman’s Warehouse. I have enjoyed working directly with John over the past year and am grateful for his partnership, as well as the strong team he has built at the company. I am excited to work with the Board and our great team to lead the next chapter of growth for Sportsman’s Warehouse and tap the many opportunities we see ahead for the business.”