Equip Outdoor Technologies, parent company of technical outdoor apparel and equipment brands Rab and Lowe Alpine, has announced that it is looking for a successor for Matt Gowar, CEO and owner.
Twelve years after buying Lowe Alpine, 20 years after buying Rab, and 30 years after importing his first glove range into the United Kingdom, Gowar has decided that it’s time to bring new experience and leadership to strengthen the board by appointing a new CEO, the company said in a release.
According to the company, Equip has experienced significant growth in the past few years and achieved £120 million ($150 million) turnover in fiscal year 2023. The global business now operates through 26 manufacturing partners across Asia, retains its UK manufacturing site, plus has sales offices in eight countries across North America and Europe.
Founded in 1981 in Sheffield, England, Rab has expanded into the U.S. market in the last 10-15 years. Several retailers have told The Daily that the brand is growing in reputation and popularity among consumers.
Lowe Alpine began in 1967. Earlier this year, Adam Chamberlain, U.S. manager for parent company Equip, said the heritage brand could be better distributed in the U.S.
In a release, Equip said the board has signed off on a five-year strategic plan for both brands, committing to increasing turnover, furthering its leadership in corporate social responsibility, and continuing to grow share in core markets.
Gowar will remain active within the business, retaining executive responsibility at the Equip Board level for his areas of specialty and passion, including CSR, supplier sourcing, and supporting development in North America.
“The last few years have seen extraordinary pressures for the outdoor industry and supply chains,” Gowar said. “We have worked hard to grow Equip and our brands and achieved significant business milestones along the way. Knowing that the business is in such a strong position, I look forward to finding someone who can step into the CEO role to bring new experience and leadership to our existing board and lead Equip to achieve the next five-year strategic plan.”
After 30 years in the industry, traveling extensively for business, and building successful brands, Gowar wants to spend more time doing the things he loves, including time on his bikes, traveling for pleasure, and being with his family.
Equip is looking for a successor for Gowar in 2024 “who can leverage the strength and reputation of the business and drive the five-year strategy and business to new heights,” according to a release.