Rob Katz to step down this November as Vail Resorts CEO

Photo credit: Jonas Tufvassen/

It’s the end of a CEO era for Vail Resorts this November as current CEO, Rob Katz, moves into an executive chairperson of the board role and Kirsten Lynch takes on the vacant CEO position.

Kirsten Lynch is the current chief marketing officer and will take on her new CEO role on November 1.

Katz was appointed to the Vail Resorts board of directors in 1996 and named chief executive officer in 2006. As executive chairperson, Katz will remain a Vail Resorts employee and director, advising both Lynch and the board on long-term strategy and critical priorities.

“After more than 15 years in the role, one of my top priorities has been to identify and prepare a CEO for the next chapter in the Company’s growth and success and I am fully confident that Kirsten is that person,” said Katz.

“And with our Company having just navigated the most challenging period in its history and coming out stronger than when it began, this is the right time for me to take a step back and play a different role at Vail Resorts. I am incredibly proud of where our Company is today and passionate about supporting Kirsten, our board and our executive team in continuing to reimagine the mountain resort experience.

“While I am grateful to have been a part of so many of our Company’s incredible accomplishments over the past decades, I’m most proud of our unique leadership culture and the amazing leaders we have at every level of Vail Resorts – who have been the primary driver of all the innovation, growth and success we have created together.”

While he is stepping down from the day-to-day operations of the Company, Katz will be actively engaged in key strategic projects and decisions. He will also remain involved in Vail Resorts’ activities around leadership development as well as its efforts to broaden diversity, equity and inclusion at both the Company and throughout the industry.

Lynch joined Vail Resorts in 2011 as chief marketing officer and previously held senior leadership positions at PepsiCo and Kraft Foods. Lynch is a member of the board of directors of Stitch Fix, Inc., (NASDAQ: SFIX) and in 2019, she was named to Forbes’ CMO Next list, recognized as one of the top 50 game-changing marketing leaders.

Lynch grew up in Chicago, first skiing at the age of six at now Vail Resorts-owned Wilmot Mountain. She currently lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband and two children.

“It is an honor to lead Vail Resorts as CEO and build upon Rob’s legacy of reimagining the mountain experience,” Lynch said.

“I am passionate about this Company, the leadership culture we have built and our 55,000 employees who make Vail Resorts the industry leader. Looking forward, I am excited about the incredible growth opportunities for Vail Resorts and committed to making our sport and our Company more diverse, inclusive and accessible.

Together, we will grow our business, innovate and continue to work toward our mission of creating an Experience of a Lifetime for our guests and employees.”

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.