Chris Metz Out as Vista Outdoor CEO

Chris Metz Out as Vista Outdoor CEO
A photo of former Vista Outdoors Inc. CEO Chris Metz included in a company regulatory filing (Vista Outdoors)

The parent company of Remington Ammunition in Lonoke has fired CEO Chris Metz, citing a "loss of confidence in his leadership."

Vista Outdoor Inc. of Anoka, Minnesota announced Thursday that Gary McArthur, 62, a member of the company's board of directors since 2015, has been appointed interim CEO.

In a statement, the publicly traded company said Metz's ouster was not related to financial reporting or internal controls issues.  Nor was it related "any disagreement on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies or practices," the company said in a SEC filing.

Metz had been CEO since 2017.

Michael Callahan, board chair, said, "We are grateful for Gary's willingness to step in as CEO on an interim basis and expect him to hit the ground running. We appreciate Chris' contributions to Vista Outdoor and wish him well in his next endeavor."

The leadership change comes as Vista separates its outdoor products and sporting products segments into two independent, publicly traded companies. Both are expected to have a significant presence and physical footprint in Arkansas. The new sporting products company would be part of Remington's ammunition factory in Lonoke, where about 1,100 people are currently employed.

Metz has agreed to serve as a consultant for three months during the leadership transition, for which he'll be paid $90,000 per month. His severance benefits include a lump sum cash payment equal to his base salary. Metz received a 10% raise in fiscal year 2022, bringing his base salary to $1.1 million.

Prior to joining Vista, Metz was president and CEO of Arctic Cat Inc., a manufacturer of all-terrain vehicles, recreational off-road vehicles and snowmobiles. Before then, he was managing director of Sun Capital Partners Inc., a global private equity firm.

"It has been an honor to lead Vista Outdoor for the last six years," he said. "Vista Outdoor has an excellent team of dedicated employees who will continue to drive the Company's future success. I stand fully behind the planned separation of the Outdoor and Sporting Products segments into two strong, standalone businesses and believe the Company has a bright future ahead." 

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