Lance Eddy Exits Vans For RVCA
Eddy parted ways with Vans last week and disclosed the news on LinkedIn Tuesday evening.
“I’m forever grateful and have a full heart from all the memories and good friends I’ve met along this amazing journey some call a job,” Eddy said in his post. “I wish I could list all of you in this post, but it would exceed the characters allowed in a single post. This isn’t goodbye forever, just goodbye for now.”
SES has learned Eddy’s new role is director of sales at RVCA, which is now under the Liberated Brands umbrella.
“We couldn’t be happier to have Lance join the team, said Brent Lantz, vice president of sales for the Americas at Liberated and global head of Volcom Outerwear. “He’s well respected, and after getting to know him, he’s very like minded, knowledgeable and will be a great addition to our Liberated family.”
The departure from Vans leaves big shoes to fill as it relates to Vans’ relationships with the core and specialty channel, an area Eddy excelled at building out and maintaining during his tenure. Three other Vans executives who were known for have deep relationships with the core market have also departed over the past year or so: Former Global President Doug Palladini, former VP and GM of the Americas David Tichiaz and former VP of Sales for the U.S. and Mexico Henry Cosio.
In Eddy’s first 10 years at Vans he worked as an independent sales representative, with the past 11 years spent as a key account manager and then sales director.
“When I first started with the company there were very few skate shops in the U.S. that carried Vans,” he wrote on LinkedIn. “It was a different time for skateboarding and Vans. Consumers had forgot about Vans.”
The turning point, according to Eddy, was when pro skateboarder Geoff Rowley helped make skating in Vans’ vulcanized shoes cool once again. He also thanked Tichiaz and Cosio, both of whom he said, “took a chance on me.”
A spokesperson for Vans declined to comment on Eddy’s departure and if a successor has been named.
Some were surprised to hear the news of Eddy’s departure.
Jack’s Surfboards Partner Bobby Abdel wasn’t expecting it when he got the call from the company alerting him of the news.
“We worked very, very closely with Lance and he’s always been helpful with everything,” Abdel said. “Whenever we had an obstacle, he was always there to take care of it. He was there for everybody and did a good job communicating between us and the company.”
BC Surf and Sport owner Bruce Cromartie said he was sorry to hear the news about Eddy’s departure.
“Lance has been an integral part of the Vans crew that built such a strong brand culture over the years,” Cromartie said. “He and the rest of the Vans team have done an amazing job keeping the company rooted in their surf, skate and snow origins as it grew. I wish him all the best and am looking forward to hearing about his next venture.”
Eddy’s departure comes as the company looks to affect a turnaround amid more recent shuffling within the executive ranks.
Tichiaz, Global Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Harrer and Vans Americas Vice President of Finance Michael LeFebvre all left the organization this year.
Tichiaz was subsequently tapped to be brand president of Stance in May. Meanwhile, Drieke Leenknegt was named Vans global chief marketing officer in June.
Kari Hamanaka can be reached at email@example.com.