Rose Marcario, one of the outdoor industry’s most vocal proponents of social and environmental change, is exiting Patagonia after 12 years.
The president and CEO will depart on Friday. The move — announced late today — was a surprise.
Just a few weeks ago, the executive appeared on LinkedIn to talk about how the company was reimagining its future.
“COVID-19 has affected every business, but it just means that we have to sharpen our focus,” she said in a conversation with LinkedIn editor-in-chief Daniel Roth. “We’ve all been going through a really rough time over the last eight weeks. We’ve had to shut down our companies, or we have had to furlough people. It’s really hard on people.”
Marcario said in the conversation she believed the United States’ lack of social safety nets — including universal health care — has intensified the coronavirus’ impact. “I don’t think we have to separate business from life. Business is life, and businesses are made up of people,” she explained. “Other countries are handling this much better than we are because they have better health care, they have better safety nets.
Patagonia’s statement announcing the departure listed off Marcario’s long list of accomplishments through the years. The company credited the executive with spearheading Outdoor Retailer’s move from Utah to Colorado, among many other things.
“Rose has grown our advocacy efforts in ways I could never have imagined. 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.” said Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard.
Patagonia’s transition will be led by COO Doug Freeman.