Experienced adidas Group executive Nic Vu has been named to lead the next stage of development of RevZilla and Cycle Gear as CEO of parent company Comoto, announced RevZilla co-founder and Interim CEO Matt Kull.
Vu joins RevZilla and Cycle Gear with more than 17 years of executive experience in both e-commerce and brick-and-mortar retail. In his most recent position as general manager for the adidas Group in North America, he led the rapid growth of the direct-to-consumer business (both brick and mortar plus e-commerce), which increased sales 10-fold over 10 years. That experience managing rapid growth in all facets of retail will serve him as CEO of Comoto, since RevZilla is continuing its growth trajectory, with plans to hire 55 new employees this year, while Cycle Gear plans to continue opening new stores.
“Nic's a great fit for the organization. So many factors come into play when making a hire at this level,” said Kull. “I am excited that we found someone with Nic's diversity of experience and a personality that will gel well with our internal culture, as well as with our customers.”
"Nic is a seasoned exec with tremendous drive. I'm looking forward to seeing him lead the next iteration of our team, further our brand legacy and build upon the foundation that our customers have come to know and love," said Anthony Bucci, former CEO and currently a Comoto board member.
Vu will be based in Philadelphia and begins his new job July 10. Once Vu is on board, Kull's title will revert to COO.
To get to know the new boss a little better, Common Tread asked some ZLA-style questions. Here’s what he had to say.
CT: Tell us about your childhood dirt bikes.
NV: When I was a kid, I worked on a farm in a small town of 3,000 people called Mt. Angel. Everyone rode motorcycles, three-wheelers, and four-wheelers throughout my childhood. So, when I was 8 years old, I rode my first motorcycle, which was a Honda 50. I felt like this was the best thing ever — I could get around the farm fast and riding in fields upon fields while working on the farms. I quickly graduated from that to a Honda 75, then Honda 125, and ultimately a 250.
Later on, I moved on to sport bikes, but the love for motorcycles started young. Ultimately, what I am most fond of is all of the memories with all of my childhood buddies. Riding back then was a brotherhood, a unique expression of oneself, an incredible outlet for gaining experiences, and in my opinion still is today.
CT: What attracted you to make the move from a huge, international corporation to a young and fast-growing business?
NV: My family knows me best and I believe their reaction when I told them I was going to work with the market leaders of moto — RevZilla and Cycle Gear — says it all. Their overwhelming response was all eerily similar: “That makes total sense, he loved riding his bikes and has always had a passion for that.”
To be candid, I have to love what I'm doing to ensure I maximize my time on this planet. I love sports, and loved every minute of working for adidas Group. I will always be a lifelong brand advocate, brand fan, and will always have a big family there. However, I was able to grow the business in a significant manner and into a very large-scale specialty direct-to-consumer business. I felt like it was time for me to follow another passion of mine in the moto industry.
It's even more exciting as both organizations are doing extremely well. I am really looking forward to working with a team of people that is famous for working hard, caring about what they do and having fun doing it. I am fortunate to be able to get back into another passion of mine, work with very talented people and build something together for riders all over the world!
CT: Since you're going to be in charge of both RevZilla and Cycle Gear, what would you say to customers who are worried that the two companies are going to lose their unique identities by coming under the same ownership and management?
NV: I would say to our consumer base at RevZilla and Cycle Gear that we will continue to do what's right for them, the consumer. I believe both companies bring a unique experience to their customer base, and my ultimate goal is to grow both companies while continuing to improve each company’s respective customer experience.
CT: In the early days of RevZilla, everyone was a Ninja, a Pirate or a Cowboy. Which are you?
CT: What's the Nic Vu version of 10 percent orange.
NV: I'm generally a pretty jovial guy. I love to joke around, especially in personal situations. At times I come across much like a jester. In fact, I have a tattoo of one designed by me to signify how much fun I do like to have. So, we will have to wait and see once I join the company officially to see what may show up!