Patagonia CEO Steps Down After Years of Prosperity
Patagonia CEO Rose Marcario is stepping down from the role, according to Fast Company.
The company announced the change on Wednesday. Chief operating officer Doug Freeman will move into a temporary role until the board of directors and founder Yvon Chouinard determine a successor for Ms. Marcario.
Marcario released a statement, “We have been planning my succession since late last year and believe now is the right time for the next-generation team to step in to reimagine the business for a bright future. Patagonia is in great hands, and on a path for 100 years of success." Chouinard spoke highly of Marcario and her contributions to Patagonia stating, “with Rose at the helm, we are leading an overdue revolution in agriculture, challenging this administration’s evil environmental rollbacks, growing a movement to increase voter participation in our elections and raising the bar on building our product in the most responsible manner possible.”
Marcario has been planning to leave for some time according to Chouinard. “When this pandemic hit, and the focus quickly turned to reimagining the company for the future, Rose felt the team that would carry our work forward should lead this transformation,” he said.
Marcario leaves an impressive legacy that started when she joined the company as chief financial officer in 2008. Marcario wanted to emphasize the company's commitment to grassroots environmental organizations. Mercario effectively improved the supply chain process and streamlined production, ultimately helping the company to reduce waste and packaging, Furthermore, she helped created Tin Shed Ventures at the company to fund small, environmentally responsible ventures. Since she joined Patagonia, sales have quadrupled and the company's value skyrocketed to being worth billions.
“I think reasonable people are understanding more that we’re using the resources of multiple planets, we can’t continue to consume the way we are, we can’t continue to have a vision of business that has one metric—earnings per share—it will kill us,” she said in late 2017. “It will destroy our future. So we need business leaders who are smart and step up with a new vision for the future. It is happening all over the country and the world, and it’s exciting.”
Arguably most importantly, Marcario turned the company into one of the biggest environmental activists in the world. Patagonia website was changed to a black screen with the words, "The President stole Your Land," after President Trump decided to cut federal protections for Utah's Bears Ears National Monument. Furthermore, Marcario joined a coalition of Native Americans to sue the Trump administration over public-lands policies.
“This isn’t the time to be lazy, to be reserved, to be complicit, to be quiet,” Marcario said. “We’re living in a time when it’s so important for business to drive this new economy, this new view, this aspirational future of business as a force for good. Because what we’ve seen in the last 25 years has been business as a force for evil.”