James Cabela, who helped co-found Cabela’s Inc. with brother Richard, will become the company’s chairman, effective June 5, following the retailer’s annual shareholders meeting in Sidney, Neb.
He will replace Richard Cabela, 76, who will become chairman emeritus of the Sidney-based hunting and outdoor retailer.
James Cabela, 73, currently serves as the company’s vice chairman.
“We are very pleased to have our co-founder, Jim Cabela, become chairman,” Tommy Millner, the company’s chief executive, said in a statement. “Jim’s leadership has been a powerful force in building our company over the last five decades. Jim’s passion for the outdoors and his role as our new chairman will ensure we remain focused during this exciting growth period.”
The transition has been planned for several years, company officials said.
Cabela’s, which was founded in 1961, went public in 2004 and now has more than 40 stores in 26 U.S. states and Canada, including Nebraska stores in Sidney, Kearney and La Vista.
“From their kitchen table in Chappell, Nebraska, 52 years ago to pioneering direct catalog marketing and experiential retailing, Dick and his wife, Mary, revolutionized every aspect of outdoor product sales,” Millner said. “Dick’s passion for the outdoors transformed Cabela’s from a small company in western Nebraska to a $3.1 billion globally recognized brand.”
In 1962, Dick and Mary Cabela offered James Cabela, then 24, half-ownership of the fledgling business if he would abandon his entry-level banking job in Denver and take over the daily management of the company. James Cabela accepted the offer, giving the company the staff it needed to produce its first catalog in 1963, a 55-page, black and white publication.
In 2010, the retailer printed 136 million catalogs.