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REI names former Nordstrom exec as first-ever CIO; recruiting tech talent


Seattle -- REI has named its first-ever CIO. The outdoor specialty retailer company is also on the hunt for talented techies to join its ranks.

REI promoted Julie Averill to CIO, where she will continue to lead REI’s technology organization. A 25-year technology veteran, Averill joined REI in 2014 and most recently served as VP of information technology.

"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, REI, which operates 140 stores in 33 states.

Averill served as Nordstrom's VP of technology before joining REI, leading many of the department store company's technology innovations over the last decade.

As REI’s CIO, Averill will focus on key technology areas, including 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, opening in Goodyear, Arizona next year. The center will enable faster product replenishment and delivery to 40 of REI's 140 stores.

REI also is actively recruiting “elite” technical talent to join its 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, Washington.

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