Almost a year after stepping in as interim CEO of Comoto Holdings — the holding entity of both West Coast-based Cycle Gear and Navy Yard darling RevZilla — Philly-based exec Matt Kull has been announced as the company’s top boss.
Kull, former COO and cofounder of the Philly ecommerce company, took the top position in interim fashion last December after cofounder Anthony Bucci stepped down, a surprising announcement that followed a search for leadership with “additional experience.” In May, former adidas exec Nic Vu was announced as the CEO but had to preemptively step down from the position due to “unexpected personal circumstances.”
(Vu’s current position according to his LinkedIn profile is “Transitioning from adidas Group after 10 years and needed a 6 month Sabbatical (including non-compete timing).” We reached out to Vu for further comment but did not immediately hear back.)
Bucci, who remains RevZilla’s board director, also retains his presence in the company’s wildly successful YouTube channel. Here he is reviewing a helmet just a few days ago.
The transition period as CEO, Kull said, gave him the confidence to come aboard the position permanently and handle the subtleties of leading two bicoastal companies concurrently, such as messed up Google Calendar appointments due to the three-hour time difference.
“This isn’t possible without great people in the executive side on both coasts,” Kull said. “There’s a lot to do and you can’t do it if it’s all on your shoulders. You need to be a great listener, see where the opportunities are and let people make decisions so you’re not the roadblock.”
It’s a challenging time to take a leadership role at a company like Comoto, amid an ecommerce landscape dominated by Amazon. But, as companies like Walmart have learned, there’s still opportunity for growth. Kull is focused on finding common areas of improvement for both companies.
With Amazon Prime one click away, the bar is pretty high.
“While they’re two distinct brands, there are core things that play through both companies,” Kull said. “At the core, the mission is advancing the experience of the motorcycle enthusiast. Both are focused on innovation. With Amazon Prime one click away, the bar is pretty high.”
On the Cycle Gear side, Kull’s playbook involves a continued focus on omni-channel sales, following a digital transformation years in the making. The aim: get the company to serve its customers at every touchpoint.
“We’re starting to get there,” Kull said.
RevZilla, which just finished a yearlong makeover of its website, says improving customer experience is currently the main focus. The revamped web property is part of that push, which Kull said was long overdue.
Cycle Gear, founded in 1973, became sister company to RevZilla in 2016, when the latter launched a joint venture with Massachusetts investment firm JW Childs. The firm owned a controlling stake in Cycle Gear and put the two together under the same corporate umbrella. The messaging, since then, has been consistent: Both brands will remain independent.
“Five years out, the vision is having two distinct retail brands that can provide a top-tier customer experience wherever that customer wishes,” Kull said.
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