Avid Paddler, Surfer, Skier Takes Helm of Canada’s MEC

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Canadian outdoor gear (and paddlesports) dealer MEC has a new leader who’s well-versed in all things outdoors, especially paddling. Mountain Equipment Co. has announced that Peter Hlynsky has become the company’s new CEO, taking over for Eric Claus, who steered the Canadian retailer through its transition from co-op to a company, as well as the covid pandemic.

Hlynsky, a member of MEC since 1995, has been with the company since 2020 as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys ski touring, surfing, hiking and diving, as well as paddling. Growing up near Vancouver, he’s rafted portions of the Amazon River headwaters and loves sea kayaking through Desolation Sound and the Gulf Islands on British Columbia. Claus will remain on the MEC board in an advisory capacity.

Bringing a broad range of experience to the position, in his new role he plans to focus on the brand’s core values as a people-first business, driving growth through MEC’s own in-house label products, investing in its digital assets, expanding its retail footprint, and building the MEC community through sustainability and environmental stewardship programs.

“I’d like to thank Eric, who leaves us in an excellent place in terms of progress and stability,” he said in a statement. “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 center in Western Canada. 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 honor to lead our teams into the next chapter of MEC.”

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