Gerfried Schuller, the founder of Blue Tomato, the European action sports chain owned by Zumiez, will be stepping down from his leadership role to become a Strategic Advisor.
Schuller founded Blue Tomato in 1988, and Zumiez acquired the business in 2012 for approximately €59.5 million.
When Zumiez became involved, Blue Tomato was one of Europe’s largest online action sports retailers. It also operated five stores in Austria, the company’s home base.
With Zumiez’s help, Blue Tomato now has 29 stores in Germany, Switzerland and Austria and sees lots of opportunity for more growth in the region.
Longtime Zumiez employee Adam Ellis will be moving to Europe to take on the leadership role at Blue Tomato.
Here is more information about the changes provided by a Zumiez spokesman.
“Blue Tomato Founder and Managing Director Gerfried Schuller announced this month that after more than 30 years developing and overseeing the company, he will be transitioning out of his day-to-day role in 2017, and into the role of Strategic Advisor.
“His personal decision to have more time for travel, surfing, snowboarding, sailing, the mountains, and the sea – and quality time with family and friends, comes nearly five years after Zumiez’s acquisition of Blue Tomato.
“Since that acquisition, Gerfried and his leadership team have worked closely with Adam Ellis, whom Gerfried has named to succeed him as Managing Director of Blue Tomato.
“Adam has served as the key liaison between Zumiez and Blue Tomato since July 2012, spending his summers in Austria to work with the team and grow the business. Adam has been with Zumiez for over 10 years serving in key leadership roles in both the real estate group as well as being involved in the international expansion into Canada, Europe and Australia.
“Adam and his family will be relocating to Europe in his new role and he is very excited to work with the Blue Tomato team.
“Gerfried will continue to be a Strategic Advisor to Adam and the leadership team, attending all key strategic and cultural events. We are excited for what the future holds for Blue Tomato, Zumiez and Gerfried.”