Vail Resorts has chosen chief marketing officer Kirsten Lynch to become the company’s new CEO from November.
At that time, current Vail Resorts chief Rob Katz will be appointed executive chairperson of the company’s board. Additionally, Ryan Bennett, who is currently vice president of marketing, lift revenue, will replace Lynch as CMO.
Lynch joined Vail Resorts in 2011 as CMO and previously held senior leadership positions at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods.
“Over her 10 years with the company, Kirsten has been responsible for the transformation and success of Vail Resorts’ data-driven marketing efforts and a primary driver of the Company’s growth, stability and value creation,” said Katz.
“In addition to having an incredible business acumen, Kirsten is one of the most passionate, driven leaders I have ever worked with.
“Her tremendous enthusiasm for the long-term vitality of our sport and a very high commitment to leadership development within our company will make her an outstanding leader of Vail Resorts. Kirsten will also be surrounded by an extremely strong and tenured executive team.”
Commenting on her promotion, Lynch said: “It is an honour to lead Vail Resorts as CEO and build upon Rob’s legacy of reimagining the mountain experience.
“I am passionate about this company, the leadership culture we have built and our 55,000 employees who make Vail Resorts the industry leader.
“Looking forward, I am excited about the incredible growth opportunities for Vail Resorts and committed to making our sport and our company more diverse, inclusive and accessible.
“Together, we will grow our business, innovate and continue to work toward our mission of creating an experience of a lifetime for our guests and employees.”
Katz was appointed to the Vail Resorts board of directors in 1996 and named CEO in 2006. As executive chairperson, he will remain a Vail Resorts employee and director, advising both Lynch and the board on long-term strategy and critical priorities.
“After more than 15 years in the role, one of my top priorities has been to identify and prepare a CEO for the next chapter in the company’s growth and success, and I am fully confident that Kirsten is that person,” he said.
“And with our company having just navigated the most challenging period in its history and coming out stronger than when it began, this is the right time for me to take a step back and play a different role at Vail Resorts.
“I am incredibly proud of where our company is today and passionate about supporting Kirsten, our board and our executive team in continuing to reimagine the mountain resort experience.”
Bennett joined Vail Resorts in 2018 as VP of marketing analytics before he was promoted to his current role as VP of marketing, lift revenue.
“In his two-and-half years at Vail Resorts, Ryan has had a tremendous impact on so many aspects of the company’s marketing organisation,” said Lynch.
“He has transformed the way we leverage data and driven material growth for our advance commitment strategy – all while building and leading strong teams to achieve ambitious goals.
“Ryan will bring his outstanding marketing, analytic and leadership experience to his role as CMO to help drive the future revenue growth of Vail Resorts.”