Kirsten Lynch, Vail Resorts’ chief marketing officer for a decade, will become the company’s CEO on Nov. 1.
The first woman to lead the resort giant, she will take over from Rob Katz, who will become executive chairman of the board, the Broomfield-based company said Tuesday. Lynch also will be on the board.
Katz on Tuesday credited Lynch 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.”
“In addition to having an incredible business acumen, Kirsten is one of the most passionate, driven leaders I have ever worked with,” he said in the announcement. “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.”
Katz, who was named CEO in 2006, has for six years been pushing programs to cultivate a pipeline of female leaders for Vail’s 37 resorts. In January 2020, when Vail Resorts had women leading eight of its ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek and Keystone, the company’s mountain division president said the work was crucial to the sustainability of the industry.
Four of nine members of Vail Resorts’ current board of directors are women.
Lynch, who started skiing at age 6 at Wilmot Mountain — now owned by Vail Resorts — joined the company in 2011 after holding senior leadership posts at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods. She was named to Forbes’ CMO Next list in 2019, recognized as one of the top 50 game-changing marketing leaders.
Vail Resorts the largest North American resort operator.
“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,” Lynch said.
CORRECTION: This story was updated Aug. 10, 2021, at 7:21 p.m. to correct the year Rob Katz was named CEO of Vail Resorts.