Coastal Contacts Founder Steps Down After $445 Million Exit to Essilor

One day after closing a $445 million transaction to buy Coastal Contacts (the parent company of Clearly Contacts), French optical firm Essilor International has announced that Coastal Contacts' CEO Roger Hardy and president Gary Collins will be stepping down.

Founded in Vancouver in 2000 by Hardy, Clearly Contacts sells contact lenses online to customers in 10 countries including Canada, the United States, Sweden, Norway and Japan. Essilor is a French optical conglomerate founded more than a century ago.

According to a report in BIV Hardy will stay on as an advisor, "Roger has decided to invest his time in other activities but was kind enough to stay on as an advisor," Essilor's John Carrier told BIV.

Side Note: Hardy is an Investor in Footwear Ecommerce Startup Shoeme

Roy Hessel will be Coastal Contacts' new top local executive. Hessel had been in charge of Essilor's ecommerce arm, which had included two ecommerce companies that Essilor bought in the past five years: Austin's and Shanghai's


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Clearly is the largest online eyewear company in the world with a mission to make vision correction accessible worldwide. Founded in 2000, Clearly's family of websites offers the most extensive selection of contact lenses, eyeglasses and sunglasses shipped directly to your door. Through Clearly’s Change the View Project, every purchase helps fight poor vision by providing access to tailored eye... more

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