SPARC Group Hires Outdoor Retail Veteran as Eddie Bauer CEO

SPARC Group Hires Outdoor Retail Veteran as Eddie Bauer CEO

SPARC Group, the retail venture owned by Simon Property Group and Authentic Brands Group (ABG), has hired outdoor industry veteran Tim Bantle to lead Eddie Bauer as CEO.

Bantle will lead the more than 100-year-old outdoor brand as it expands its audience and fortifies its approach to sustainability, reporting to Marc Miller, CEO of SPARC Group. As CEO, Bantle will also be tasked with developing a stronger omnichannel strategy for Eddie Bauer. He fills the leadership role that was vacated by former Eddie Bauer CEO Damien Huang in May 2022 when the executive left the company for a job as the first President of outdoor gear brand Cotopaxi.

During a career that has spanned more than 20 years, Bantle has worked with a number of outdoor companies in leadership roles. Bantle’s most recent experience was at VF Canada where he served as General Manager (GM), leading the local outdoor and action sports business. Prior to working with VF Canada, Bantle also worked with The North Face as GM of Urban Exploration and Mountain Lifestyle. He also worked with Black Diamond Equipment in several management and director positions.

Eddie Bauer’s plans to strengthen its sustainability commitments — such as its rental program that makes outdoor activities more accessible and its resale program — make Bantle’s appointment a good fit for the brand. In addition to his work expanding sustainability efforts at The North Face through the incorporation of recycled and regenerative textiles, for more than seven years Bantle also worked at Patagonia, a brand that epitomizes sustainable values.

“Tim is a proven industry leader and an outdoor brand champion,” said Miller in a statement. “He brings a unique understanding of the outdoor consumer paired with deep technical knowledge that translates into commercial success. I am excited about the future of Eddie Bauer and am confident the brand will thrive under Tim’s leadership.”