Industry News 4/28/2014

EMP: Goal Zero Names Former REI SVP Lee Fromson as President and Chief Operating Officer

Goal Zero Names Former REI SVP Lee Fromson as President and Chief Operating Officer
Personnel changes will enable Goal Zero to continue on its rapid growth path.

Press Release from Goal Zero

SALT LAKE CITY (April 28, 2014) – Goal Zero, innovator of portable solar power systems, announced the appointment of former REI Senior Vice President of Merchandising Lee Fromson to president and chief operating officer. In addition, the company announced strategic changes to its executive team, with current president and CEO Joe Atkin assuming the role of co-chairman of the board, and Founder and Chief Creative Officer Robert Workman becoming CEO. The personnel changes will enable Goal Zero to continue on its rapid growth path.

“Goal Zero represents a very compelling leadership opportunity, and I am thrilled to be able to serve the company in this new capacity,” said Fromson. “The global opportunity for Goal Zero is vast, and I look forward to driving innovation and guiding the company into its next phase of accelerated growth.”

As the senior vice president of merchandising for REI, Fromson helped double the nation’s leading outdoor retailer’s revenue to $2 billion. In this senior leadership position, he oversaw the company’s merchandising strategy, financial planning, inventory management strategies and vendor partnership development. At REI, Fromson previously held successful roles as interim chief financial officer and vice president of REI Private Brands, a division that accounts for a significant portion of the company’s sales.

Prior to joining REI in 2006, Fromson was president of Cascade Designs, a designer and manufacturer of premier outdoor, recreational and medical rehabilitation products. With ubiquitous brands such as Therm-a-rest™, Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Seal Line and Varilite, he spearheaded acquisitions and product diversification for the company. At Cascade, Fromson also served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer after being hired as the company’s controller in 1982.

“Lee is a proven leader and the perfect candidate to help us execute our vision to put power in the hands of every human being,” said Workman, who served as CEO prior to Atkin’s appointment. “Chris’ experience building premium brands, profitable retail partnerships and consistent growth make him a valuable addition to the Goal Zero senior management team. Joe’s extraordinary passion, vision and leadership catapulted Goal Zero to this next level of organizational growth, and we thank him for his contributions.”

Atkin presided over a period of tremendous growth for the company, including a revenue increase of 16,000 percent since 2009 and a more than doubling of employees in two years. Additional highlights from Atkin’s time include Goal Zero:

Ranking No. 9 on the Inc. 500 list in 2013
Being named one of Forbes’ Most Promising Companies in 2014
Winning two 2014 International CES Design and Engineering Innovation Awards for its Street Charge solar mobile charging stations and Bluetooth–enabled Rock Out 2 Solar Speaker. The Sherpa 50 Portable Recharger and the Yeti 1250 Solar Generator were also recognized at CES as Innovation Honorees for Portable Power in previous years.

“Being part of the Goal Zero team has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life,” Atkin said. “I am extremely proud of the progress we made in advancing our mission to empower people and improve lives through our products. We have exceeded all of our original expectations for the business and I believe we’ve just begun. I am confident that Lee, Robert and Chris will continue Goal Zero’s aggressive growth trajectory, and I look forward to supporting them in my new role.”

About Goal Zero
Goal Zero is the industry leader for renewable and reliable solar power. Born out of the desire to empower people everywhere, Goal Zero’s products are designed to give you the freedom to go anywhere, regardless of battery life. From cellphones to refrigerators, and everything in between, Goal Zero products keep you connected and powered up in any situation. Power. Anything. Anywhere. For more information, visit goalzero.com.