Bryce Phillips to return as CEO of evo
SEATTLE, WA, MAY 15, 2013 – evo announces Bryce Phillips to return as CEO of evo, effective July 1, 2013. Atsuko Tamura will remain within the evo family as a member of evo’s Board of Directors. For more details, please read the letters from Bryce and Atsuko below.
Letter to Industry Partners from Bryce:
Dear Industry Partners,
I [Bryce Phillips] am writing to share news about decisions affecting the future of evo. Primary among them is my return as CEO of evo effective July 1st, 2013.
I would like to thank and commend Atsuko Tamura for her leadership of evo over the course of the last 4 years. She has led an important period of our growth. Under her leadership we brought our new flagship store to life and implemented financial and operational discipline instrumental in more than doubling sales since she started, among other accomplishments, and I’m grateful for her passion and care of our brand. Atsuko will remain within the evo family as a member of our board of directors, allowing us to continue benefitting from her experience in the long-term, and ensure a smooth transition in the near-term.
I made the decision to return as CEO of evo to focus on what makes this company so special, guide its future into our next level of growth and continue to build the very best team possible. It was my love of skiing and travel—the combination of which found me sleeping on more couches in Whistler than I can count at and the start of my career as a professional skier—that served as the genesis for evo. I started the company in my garage, just around the corner from our new flagship store, selling miscellaneous used equipment. To me, evo was always more than a company based on products and transactions. It was, and is, a company based on a shared culture, “The Great 8” which serve as our core values, love of a lifestyle and the ambition to build an iconic brand and company. What makes evo so unique is the culture that permeates within our office walls internally, is the same culture our customers embrace and feel a part of — it’s a truly unique and delicate relationship. We don’t create a separate customer experience — our customer experience, at its best, is a singular, shared evo experience. And when nurtured properly it is powerful and profitable. We need to feed that culture and it will be a focus of mine as we continue to grow.
To that end, I have decided to move on from my skiing career, relinquishing my sponsorships, as well as managing myself out of the more operational roles at evolution Projects to focus on evo. Both were hard decisions and I can’t express how thankful I am for the opportunities and support that I received over the years, especially from my biggest supporters, Patagonia and K2. So many of my closest relationships and best memories were created over the last 15 years chasing endless winters around the world with great friends and being full immersed in the sports and lifestyle. Now, as I transition into the CEO role, I could not be more focused on our future and excited for the challenge ahead.
Here’s to seizing the massive opportunity in front of us while creating an amazing path for our employees, strong returns for our shareholders and leveraging our success to give back to under-privileged youth. Without the support of the Industry that we love, evo would never be where it is today nor have the opportunity to realize all that we will in the future.
To a very bright future!
Letter to Industry Partners from Atsuko:
Dear Industry Partners,
When Bryce invited me [Atsuko Tamura] to take the helm as evo’s “la presidente” 4 years ago, I knew I was in for a ride to be a part of building something special in the space of action sports specialty retailing. And what an incredible experience it has been!
In my time here, the evo team has worked hard, grown, and enjoyed many successes. We recapitalized evo’s balance sheet and paid down debt during a tough economy. We built a strong relationship with Columbia Bank, tripling our access to debt financing, which allowed us to support our operations, inventory purchases, invest in a new store and expand to a second distribution center. The evo team welcomed new members, and employees grew professionally as they took on more responsibilities that come with the maturing of a young company. As a result of our team efforts, we more than doubled our sales and delivered three years of sustainable net income during challenging times – resulting from both unpredictable weather and a moody economy. All while balancing within evo’s unique culture. Even during the harder times, we supported our cause initiatives with intention. Some would say it wasn’t possible, but we did it!
While we are pleased with our accomplishments, we know that our industry partners played an important role in our success and growth. You supported us during our growth challenges and kept your faith and confidence in us as a business and as a brand with potential. The way we’ve partnered together in marketing and grown our product categories are examples of ways we’ve worked together to bring products and experiences to increase participation in the sports we love for now and future generations.
With Bryce’s recent decision and desire to take the helm, he can now put forth his vision and ideas for evo in a more directly involved way. He’s energized and has been getting ready for this ride. Those of you who have skied with him know it can be scary at times, but he’s landed those crazy jumps more times than not and comes out ahead, covered in snow with a huge smile. It’s his time now to take the baton and sprint ahead, and I get to keep cheering him on.
With that I’m looking forward to this new relationship while I remain a member of the evo Board of Directors. It’s a way for Bryce and me to continue working together in a way that plays to our strengths and our passions.
As I sign off, I want to express my thanks and appreciation for the support, friendship and confidence you’ve placed in evo and in me, and look forward to this next chapter of building a great industry together.