Costa’s President and CEO Chas MacDonald today announced his retirement from the company, effective April 30. Since joining Costa in 2003, he’s helped grow the organization to be one of the world’s fastest growing sunglass brands, led the company through two mergers and acquisitions, and overseen significant investments in Costa’s lens technology. He also helped establish the brand as one of the leading advocates for sustainable sport fishing practices and ocean conservation.
Upon joining Costa, he guided the brand through its acquisition with A.T. Cross in 2003, and then later through the merger agreement with Essilor, Inc. in 2014. The company’s sales when it was initially acquired in 2003 were approximately $10 million; the brand is now tracking to exceed $150 million in sales by year’s end.
During his tenure with Costa, MacDonald led the charge in establishing the brand as a lens technology leader, introducing both the 580 mirrored lens and the 580P lens, which now account for the majority of product sales. He also oversaw the building and growth of Costa’s apparel and prescription (Rx) sun lens divisions.
MacDonald also helped chart the path for Costa as a brand advocate for sustainable sport fishing practices and ocean conservation. The company has now garnered worldwide attention for its conservation work, most recently being named as one of the top cult-like brands in the world at The Gathering summit and awards gala held earlier this month in Banff, A.B., Canada.
MacDonald’s career spans more than 30 years in the optical industry. Prior to joining Costa, he served as President of Outlook Eyewear, then a division of Luxottica Group S.p.A., as well as several management and financial positions within various divisions of Bausch & Lomb, Inc.
MacDonald advised his staff and colleagues of his retirement plans in 2014. Following his retirement from Costa, MacDonald will serve as a senior advisor to the Essilor Sun and Reader division. An announcement regarding MacDonald’s successor to Costa will be forthcoming.
“Chas’s incredible commitment and passion for Costa has helped propel the brand to worldwide recognition,” said Eric Thoreux, president of Essilor’s Sun and Reader division. “His hard work and dedication to strong leadership are evident in his business success. We wish him all the best in his retirement.”
“The achievements we’ve enjoyed at Costa have certainly been a result of great team work,” said MacDonald. “I’d personally like to thank each and every one of my senior management staff, as well as the entire Costa organization, for their commitment to excellence for our brand.”
Following his retirement, MacDonald will make his home in Colorado and Florida with his family.
As the leading manufacturer of the world’s clearest polarized performance sunglasses, Costa offers superior lens technology and unparalleled fit and durability. Still handcrafted today in Florida, Costa has created the highest quality, best performing sunglasses and prescription sunglasses (Rx) for outdoor enthusiasts since 1983.
For Costa, conservation is all about sustainable fishing. Many fisheries that should be vibrant and healthy are all but devoid of native fish because they have fallen victim to poor fishing practices, unregulated development, lack of watershed protection or all of the above. Costa works with partners around the world to help increase awareness and influence policy so that both the fish and fishermen of tomorrow will have healthy waters to enjoy. Costa encourages others to help in any way they can.
For more information, contact 1-800-447-3700 or visit the company’s web site at www.costadelmar.com. Join the conversation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/costasunglasses, on Instagram @CostaSunglasses, or on Twitter @CostaSunglasses.