REI has hired Apple Musni as its new Chief People Officer, effective March 20, and promoted two executives to leadership positions: Chris Speyer has been named SVP and Chief Merchandising Officer, and Isabelle Portilla has been promoted to VP, Co-op Brands, effective immediately.
Musni, most recently VP for Field People Experience and Recruiting at Chipotle, will be responsible for the full expression of REI’s people-first strategy, leading the teams shaping the retailer’s compensation and benefits offerings, providing HR business partnerships to teams across the company, designing innovative talent strategies and advancing the company’s racial equity commitments. Prior to Chipotle, she led HR and operational functions at McDonald’s and Target.
“It is a privilege to join the REI team and support amplifying how the mission of the co-op comes to life through its employee experience,” said Musni in a statement. “I have admired REI over the years as it continues to receive accolades for ‘best places to work,’ lead with its values through statements and actions, and launch offerings that focus on what matters most to its people. Anyone who works in HR knows that REI is the gold standard for how it invests in and cares for its employees.”
Speyer joined REI in 2017 as VP of Co-op Brands, the retailer’s private label, and his role expanded to include leadership of REI’s merchandising teams in 2021. Speyer also serves as executive sponsor of PRISM, REI’s inclusion network for LGBTQ+ employees and allies.
Portilla also joined the company in 2017, leading product strategy and design for Co-op Brands, including ongoing collaboration with Outdoor Afro Inc. In her new role Portilla’s goals will include accelerating Co-op Brands’ growth to the largest, most sustainable brand in the retailer’s assortment.
REI has been reshaping its C-suite over the past year-plus, naming its first Chief Commercial Officer in December 2021 and then its first Chief Supply Chain Officer in May 2022. The retailer also has long been a leader in ESG (environmental, social and governance) efforts. Path Ahead Ventures, an accelerator program focused on startups by people of color, featured six companies that had benefited from the program at an event marking the program’s first anniversary in October 2022, and REI announced earlier this month its mandate to remove “persistent” chemicals from its products by 2026.