Family-owned outdoor retailer Orvis announced the appointment of Simon Perkins to president, effective immediately. Perkins is the third generation of the Perkins family to lead Orvis since 1965. Outgoing president/CEO Bill McLaughlin will act as an advisor through the transition period, said the company.
Perkins started at Orvis in January 2012 as the e-commerce merchant for fly fishing and hunting, with channel responsibility for the brand’s direct-to-consumer sales of core sporting products. He has since filled leadership roles across the merchandising, adventures and brand marketing teams, serving as vice president of brand marketing prior to his appointment as COO in August 2018.
Before joining Orvis, Perkins spent 11 years as an upland hunting and fly-fishing guide in Montana. In his time at Orvis, Perkins has championed projects aimed at diversifying the sport of fly fishing, such as the 50/50 on the Water initiative and the Breaking Barriers Award, which highlights individuals broadening the fly-fishing audience. Perkins also serves on the board of Trout Unlimited Headwaters and has been a driver of Orvis’s involvement in advocacy for conservation projects in locations such as Bristol Bay, Alaska, and Florida’s Everglades.
Simon Perkins is the son of Leigh “Perk” Perkins, former Orvis CEO, and grandson of Leigh H. Perkins, who purchased The Orvis Company in 1965.
“Since joining Orvis in 2012, Simon has served as a unifying leader across departments and categories, overseeing significant growth in our Orvis Adventures business, and acting as a leading voice in the evolution of product innovation, brand storytelling, and purpose-led business initiatives. I have enjoyed working closely with Simon and I am thrilled to see where he takes this company in the future,” said Marka Hansen, Orvis chair.
In addition to the appointment of Perkins, the board of directors for The Orvis Company recently named Marka Hansen chair and Roger Farah vice chair and special advisor to the president, effective immediately. Hansen is a former executive with The Gap and Banana Republic, and currently serves on the board of Stitch Fix and J.Jill. Farah has previously worked as a consultant and executive with retail brands including Tiffany & Co., Tory Burch and Ralph Lauren. Both Hansen and Farah have a deep appreciation for the Orvis lifestyle. Hansen is a devoted angler, hunter and dog lover, while Farah is passionate about bird hunting and sporting clays. “Perk” Perkins and David Perkins, who previously held the chairman and vice chairman roles, will retain at-large seats on the board of directors.