Vista Outdoor, Inc. announced that Chris Metz has agreed to resign as CEO and director at the request of the Vista Outdoor Board “based on the Board’s loss of confidence in his leadership for reasons not involving financial reporting or internal controls.” Gary McArthur, a member of Vista’s Board of Directors member, has been appointed interim chief executive officer, effective immediately.
The company said it remains on track to complete the separation of its outdoor products and sporting products segments in calendar year 2023.
Michael Callahan, Vista Outdoor’s Board chair, said, “Gary is a seasoned executive with extensive financial expertise and has played an integral role in driving Vista Outdoor’s success. We are grateful for Gary’s willingness to step in as CEO on an interim basis and expect him to hit the ground running. We appreciate Chris’ contributions to Vista Outdoor and wish him well in his next endeavor.”
Callahan continued, “Vista Outdoor has a clear strategic path, and we remain on track to complete the separation of our Outdoor and Sporting Products segments in calendar year 2023. We remain confident that the separation will create two market-leading companies with enhanced strategic focus, additional resources, tailored capital allocation priorities, and expanded strategic opportunities. We look forward to strengthening our brands and unlocking value for all of our stakeholders.”
McArthur said, “I look forward to serving as Interim CEO at this pivotal time in Vista Outdoor’s history. The entire Board, including myself, has been deeply involved in the oversight and execution of our strategy, and I am confident we will continue to capitalize on our strong momentum. With our unmatched portfolio of iconic brands, resilient operating model and strong balance sheet, we believe we are well-positioned to deliver compelling value for our shareholders. I look forward to working closely with the leadership team and leveraging my deep knowledge of the company to drive Vista Outdoor’s strategic priorities forward during this transitional period.”
Metz said, “It has been an honor to lead Vista Outdoor for the last six years. Vista Outdoor has an excellent team of dedicated employees who will continue to drive the company’s future success. I stand fully behind the planned separation of the Outdoor and Sporting Products segments into two strong, standalone businesses and believe the company has a bright future ahead.”
The company has entered into an agreement with Metz to ensure access to his institutional knowledge during the transition period.
Vista Outdoor owns 41 brands in the sporting and outdoor lifestyle space. Brands include Bushnell, CamelBak, Bushnell Golf, Foresight Sports, Fox Racing, Bell Helmets, Camp Chef, Giro, Simms Fishing, QuietKat, Stone Glacier, Federal Ammunition and Remington Ammunition.
Photo courtesy Vista Outdoor/Chris Metz