After the sudden departure of CEO Doug Robinson after not quite a year on the job, West Marine has found a new captain to take the helm. The company just reported that they’ve hired retail executive Ken Seipel as CEO. The announcement describes Seipel as “an experienced leader with a strong track record helping grow privately held retail companies as well as Fortune 500 brands.” He was most recently CEO of Gabe’s, an East Coast discount retailer, and prior to that held executive positions with Old Navy, Target and JCPenney.
Upon his arrival Seipel commented, “It is an honor to join the West Marine team. For more than 50 years, West Marine has been the best outfitter of boating-related products and gear. I am excited to lead the brand as we strengthen our market position in boating products, improve our customer value proposition, and enhance our core customers’ ability to make the most of their boating experience.”
West Marine, like most businesses, is adapting to a rapidly changing world. The company has worked to balance its efforts in core markets like sailing while exploring the evolving world of water sports. Sailors will be keen to learn how Seipel (who just started on Monday) plans to chart the boating retailer’s course.