Outdoor Retailer REI Announces First CIO

Outdoor specialty retailer REI has added its first CIO. Julie Averill has been promoted to CIO to continue leading the company’s technology organization. A 25-year technology veteran, Averill joined REI in 2014 and most recently served as vice president of IT.

“Over the past year and a half, Julie has effectively led investments in technology that enhance the employee experience and strengthen our service to more than 5.5 million members,” said Eric Artz, REI’s CFO and COO. “I’m delighted to promote Julie to serve as REI’s first CIO. She hit the ground running and is leading some of our most important work streams.”

As the CIO, Averill will focus on key technology areas aligned with the co-op strategy, which includes business intelligence, strategic merchandising, retail technology, digital experiences and IT infrastructure. Her team is instrumental in the planned opening of REI’s third distribution center in Goodyear, Arizona next year, enabling faster product replenishment and delivery to 40 of REI’s 140 stores.

Averill served as Nordstrom’s vice president of technology before joining REI, leading many of the company’s technology innovations over the last decade. She was also an adjunct professor in Seattle University’s Masters of Software Engineering program, held various consulting roles, and previously worked at Weyerhaeuser and Ernst & Young.

REI is actively recruiting elite technical talent to join the co-op’s growing IT team. The retailer will open a satellite office in September 2015 to serve as its technology hub in Eastgate, a neighborhood of Bellevue, Wash. Current open positions are available at REI.jobs.
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