Vista Outdoor Inc. on Thursday named Chris Sword, formerly president of Pearl Izumi, as president of Bell/Giro, effective October 30.
As the business unit president, Sword, pictured right, will be responsible for continued success and growth of the action sports business unit. He will serve as a member of Vista Outdoor’s senior leadership team, reporting to CEO Chris Metz.
“Chris has a strong outdoor industry track record for building brands, shaping culture and providing on-point direction. He is an exceptional leader, marketer and business strategist,” Metz said. “Sword’s initial objectives will focus on streamlining performance, improving profitability and positioning these strong brands for long-term growth and success.”
Sword previously served as president at Pearl Izumi, where he brought a powerful new vision to the business. He helped transition the brand to a new position with impactful social purpose, reenergized design, and implemented a more productive product line. Prior to Pearl Izumi, Sword served as North American president of Salewa and Dynafit. He has also spent time in leadership positions at Ford Motor Co. and Russell Athletic.
“I’m thrilled to work closely with a set of brands I’ve admired and personally used for years,” Sword said. “I’m confident we will develop and implement strategies to drive these brands forward.”
Sword has an undergraduate degree from Villanova University and an MBA from Duke University. He is an athlete who rides bikes and motorcycles, snowboards and skis, runs marathons and competes in triathlons. He and his family will relocate from Colorado to join the Bell/Giro team at its business headquarters in Scotts Valley, CA.