RevZilla parent names Philly's Kull as national CEO, a year after partner left

Customers can try on gear like these helmets in a unique 4,500 square-foot retail store. RevZilla is the largest online retailer of motercycle gear, located in the Philadelphia Naval Business Center.

Nearly a year after the top job at South Philly-based online motorcycle gear-and-parts store RevZilla went vacant with the departure of cofounder and leather-jacketed front man Anthony Bucci, his founding partner and chief operating officer Matt Kull has been named head of Comoto, the holding company that includes both RevZilla and the California-based Cycle Gear store chain. The group is controlled by the Massachusetts-based investment firm JW Childs.

Childs had been looking for a new CEO after the abortive hiring last May of Adidas executive Nic Vu, who ended up not taking the job due to what the company later called “a change in personal circumstances.”

Kull had served as acting CEO of RevZilla since Bucci left last year. They were among the three hackers and entrepreneurs who started the company in the late 2000s, in an Old City garage.

“After a thorough view of the landscape, we are more convinced than ever that Matt is the right person” to grow both the online business and the store chain, Joe Fortunato, the former General Nutrition Corp. executive who Childs named Comoto’s executive chairman earlier this year, said in a statement.

Both companies “outpace projections,” Kull said in a statement.

RevZilla employs 254, up from 180 in late 2015 before the Childs deal. The company says sales grew more than 10 percent in 2017, and will exceed $200 million in 2018.

Cycle Gear, founded in 1974, opened 8 stores in the past year (total is 130 in 35 states) and says it plans “significantly” more in 2018. The store chain employs around 1,050.