Fort Lauderdale, Fla. — West Marine, Inc., the nation’s leading omnichannel provider of products, services and expertise for the marine aftermarket, has appointed Eric Kufel to succeed Ken Seipel as chief executive officer. As part of this planned transition, Seipel will become lead independent director of the West Marine board of directors, effective August 23.
Kufel brings West Marine over two decades of executive leadership experience. He most recently served as executive chairman of Leslie’s, Inc., where he partnered with the team to transform Leslie’s into the largest, most trusted omnichannel brand in the U.S. pool and spa care industry through significant investments in technology and core infrastructure. Prior to his time at Leslie’s, Kufel served as the CEO of CorePower Yoga, building the company into the largest yoga studio operator in the U.S.
“I am excited to welcome Eric as our new CEO,” Seipel says. “His depth of experience in consumer-driven businesses and proven ability to accelerate growth, particularly through digital, supply chain and marketing advancements within multichannel retail organizations, make him well-suited to lead West Marine into its next chapter of growth.”
Founded in 1968, West Marine is the leading integrated, omnichannel provider of aftermarket products and services to the boating, fishing, sailing and watersports markets in the U.S. with 237 physical locations across 38 states and Puerto Rico.
West Marine entered into an ownership agreement with L Catterton earlier this year. With approximately $30 billion of equity capital across its fund strategies and 17 offices around the world, L Catterton is the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm. Since 1989, the firm has made over 250 investments in leading consumer brands, including West Marine. For more information, visit www.lcatterton.com.
SOURCE: L Catterton