Obama to name REI chief Sally Jewell for US interior secretary

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama will nominate the chief executive of Recreational Equipment, Sally Jewell, as the next US interior secretary, an administration official said on Wednesday.

Jewell would replace Ken Salazar, who said he did not intend to stay for Obama's second term. She is the first woman Obama has announced for his second-term Cabinet and also lends credentials from the nation's West.

Obama is expected to announce the nomination later on Wednesday. The Washington Post first reported the nomination.

Jewell, a former banking executive, joined the national outdoor retail chain as a board member in 1996 before taking over as chief operating officer in 2000 and then later as CEO.

She is also an engineer who began her career at Mobil Oil Corporation.

Washington state-based REI is known for its conservation and stewardship efforts as well as its co-op structure that includes more than 10 million consumer "members." It has also been voted as one of Fortune magazine's best companies to work for.