Big news coming out of Bozeman today, Simms Fishing Products has a new President, Derek Tarleki. Tarleki will be replacing interim CEO, Gary McArthur. Tarleki comes from Vista Outdoor where he co-led Mergers & Acquisitions for the company. Coming from a background in outdoor brands, he is a “passionate member of many conservation organizations” and an avid outdoorsman, according to a press release from Vista.
This new leadership is a result of Vista’s acquisition of Simms Fishing Products which occurred last year.
To read more about Tarleki and his vision for Simms, check out the press release below from Vista Outdoor.
From Vista Outdoor:
“Vista Outdoor Inc., the parent company of 41 renowned brands that design, manufacture, and market sporting and outdoor lifestyle products to consumers around the globe, today announced that it has named Derek Tarlecki as president of its Bozeman, Mont.-based brand Simms Fishing Products, effective immediately.
Tarlecki has been serving as chief integration officer at Simms since September, following the retirement of Simms CEO Casey Sheahan. Tarlecki’s leadership accelerated Simms’ integration into the Vista Outdoor family and helped the team deliver 25 percent year-over-year growth in the third quarter. His numerous successes during this transition over the last few months made Tarlecki the ideal candidate.
“Filling this key Simms position has been a priority since I assumed the interim CEO duties,” said Gary McArthur, interim CEO, Vista Outdoor. “The strength of our company lies with our brands, which are continuing to innovate and take share in their respective categories. Derek’s appointment bolsters our business unit leadership team at Simms — the anchor of our new fishing platform — and better positions us for the separation of Outdoor Products and Sporting Products into two companies, which remains on track for this year.”
Tarlecki is an avid sportsman and longtime business leader. Before helping integrate Simms Fishing into the company’s portfolio, he led strategy and co-led M&A for Vista Outdoor, and was an integral part of identifying and acquiring many of the company’s most recent additions, including Foresight Sports, Stone Glacier, Fox Racing, and Simms Fishing. Before joining Vista Outdoor, Tarlecki spent nearly 14 years advising and supporting large- and medium-sized businesses at the global strategy consulting firm Bain & Co.
Tarlecki is an active and passionate member of many conservation organizations such as Trout Unlimited, Ducks Unlimited, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. In his new role, he will be able to offer expertise and strategic guidance on issues of access, conservation, and technical rulemakings.
“I am honored to accept the role of president for such an iconic and innovative fishing brand,” said Tarlecki. “I’ve long loved Simms, both personally and professionally, and I’m excited to work alongside this incredibly talented and dedicated team. I am also excited to get out and work with our key partners — the 500-plus retailers that are a cornerstone of our brand. I am thankful to Vista Outdoor for the opportunity, and I look forward to honoring Simms’ storied past while supporting the brand’s focus on innovation, fishy culture and advocacy for the wild places that we are so passionate about.”
Simms was founded in 1980. In July 2022, Vista Outdoor entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Simms. In August, the company closed the acquisition for a purchase price of $192.5 million, which included a net present value of roughly $20 million in future tax benefits.
Simms is now part of Vista Outdoor’s Outdoor Products segment and will be included in the new Outdoor Products Company upon completion of the previously announced separation.”
My Simms products have certainly served me well but I’m thinking of all the passionate small business people serving the fly fishing industry with innovative companies and I think I’ll be “shopping around” ( if you catch my drift).