After 12 years with the company, Rose Marcario is stepping down from her role as Patagonia’s president and chief executive officer effective today. Marcario was instrumental in leading the company through the most prosperous time in its 47-year history, said Patagonia, and she has been recognized by global leaders for her success in advocating and advancing climate and environmental policies.
Marcario recenty said in a statement that her succession has been planned since late last year, and that she feels “now is the right time for the next-generation team to step in to reimagine the business for a bright future.” Still, the move comes as a bit of a surprise, as Patagonia did not name a successor. The transition to a new CEO will be led by chief operating officer, Doug Freeman.
During her tenure, Patagonia was established as a leader in the Benefit Corporation movement – prioritizing people and planet, not just profit. She spearheaded the move for the Outdoor Retailer tradeshow from Utah to Colorado as a way to leverage brand strength for conservation goals, and she oversaw the company’s strategy to protect millions of acres of land including Bears Ears National Monument (Utah), Jumbo Valley (British Columbia) and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Alaska). With Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, Rose started an organic food company Patagonia Provisions, and along with the Rodale Institute and Dr. Bronner’s she developed the Regenerative Organic Certification, a certification for workers/farmers rights, animal welfare and regenerative soil practices. Marcario also founded the company’s in-house venture fund and Patagonia Action Works, a digital hub for environmental activists.
In 2018, Marcario founded Time To Vote, a bipartisan coalition of companies committed to increasing voter participation in our elections. This movement now has nearly 500 companies and has received acclaim from Secretaries of State from both parties, and election experts from leading public policy institutes and universities.
Under her leadership Patagonia gave away more grants to grassroots activism than any time in its history. In 2015, President Obama awarded her as a Champions of Change for her support of working families. And just last month, she ranked number one on Fast Company’s Queer 50 list.
“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 Chouinard.