Steven L. Ortega

Steven Ortega has been recognized as a transformational executive with 17 years in senior executive roles leading private equity portfolio companies with global private equity partners. He brings extensive experience in executive leadership roles, serving as Chairman, CEO, President, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer throughout his career. Leveraging a strong background in finance, accounting, and business operations, Steven delivers in-depth understanding of omni-retail operations, logistics, and supply chain.

As Chairman of the Board at Leslie’s Inc., Steven facilitates board leadership and governance, influences the direction and priorities of the board and collaborates with the directors and management team to support Leslie’s mission, vision, and strategic direction.

Steven joined Leslie’s in 2005 as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Secretary & Director, where he was recruited to provide financial leadership and align business and finance strategies to grow the business. Championing a new investment strategy across the retail store, eCommerce, and commercial channels, Steven almost doubled the store count and revenue.

Promoted to modernize and scale operations while delivering on growth strategy as President & Chief Operating Officer, Steven was challenged with continuing his growth strategy and leading the organization through cloud technology adoption. He completed 7 equity transactions between 2007 to 2017, including 4 recapitalizations and leveraged dividends, 2 stock sales, and 11 acquisitions between 2010 and 2019.

Steven was promoted to Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer in 2017 and delivered $1.1B in sales by 2020, preparing the company for its successful IPO. He modernized the executive team, launched the organization’s first mobile app, and led 3 additional acquisitions to enter new markets.

In his early career, Steven held leadership roles in the supermarket retail space, serving as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer for BI-LO supermarkets (a subsidiary of Royal Ahold) and in multiple executive roles for The American Stores Company and Lucky Stores.

In 2021, Steven was elected to the board of directors for James Avery Artisan Jewelry, a vertically integrated, omni-channel retailer of finely crafted jewelry designs for men and women, with over 100 James Avery stores in 4 states.

Passionate about giving back to the community, Steven is a member of the Board of Directors of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Latino Corporate Directors Association. Steven also serves on the boards of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, Banner Health Foundation and Be A Leader Foundation.

Steven currently lives in Paradise Valley, AZ and has been married to his high school sweetheart, Mary, for 39 years. They have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. When not spending time with their family, Mary and Steven enjoy traveling and playing golf.