VANCOUVER, BC, OCTOBER 26, 2023 - Mountain Equipment Company (MEC), Canadas Most Trusted Brand, announces today that Peter Hlynsky will move into the role of Chief Executive Officer. He will assume the duties of Eric Claus, who was instrumental in steering the iconic Canadian retailer through its transition from co-op to company, as well as through the industry disruption of the covid pandemic.
Peter has been with the company since November 2020 and as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer over that time, played a major part in the transition of reinforcing MEC’s focus on people, product, sustainability, and community, while re-organizing the business to thrive in a modern retail environment.
“I would like to take this time to thank Eric, he leaves us in an excellent place in terms of progress and stability”, said Peter. “In the past three years we have grown the business through a period of unpredictability in the marketplace, overhauled operations systems, opened new stores and this month we are completing the move to a new, larger distribution centre in Western Canada. Importantly, beyond our walls, we have regained brand trust with our long-time members and new brand fans, as evidenced by the Gustavson Brand Trust Index. We know MEC has always been held to a high standard and it has been three years of passion, dedication and hard work from our staff across the country to get us here today. It is my honour to lead our teams into the next chapter of MEC.
As he assumes his new role, Peter will continue to uphold and focus on the brand's core values as a people first business. Driving growth through innovation with MEC’s own in-house label products, investing in strong digital experiences for members, sustainably expanding its retail footprint, and continuing to build strong community through sustainability and environmental stewardship programs. With an extensive background as an executive leader across various industries, Peter brings a broad range of experience to the role, with a focus on balancing financial stability while managing culture to ensure long-term business success.
“I am really proud of our whole team and what has been accomplished over the last three years, and I know that Peter is the right leader to carry MEC forward”. Said departing CEO Eric Claus. “He understands MEC’s values, culture and has the acumen and experience to ensure continued financial stability and sustained growth. I could not be more confident in MEC’s next phase of growth under Peter’s stewardship.”
Mr. Claus will remain on the MEC board in an advisory capacity. Peter has been a member of MEC since 1995. Some of his adventures include ski touring in Canada, hiking in the Andes, rafting the Amazon River, diving off Fiji, surfing in California, and lots of kayaking through Desolation Sound and the Gulf Islands. Growing up on the North Shore near Vancouver, he has fond memories of riding his 1990s rigid mountain bike wearing hockey equipment as padding (gear has come a long way). These days, you can find Peter and his wife introducing their three kids to his favourite old trails in the mountains.