Rose Marcario led Patagonia through the ‘most prosperous time in its 47-year history.’ And today she announced she’s stepping down as the company’s president and CEO.
Anyone who has watched the continued success of Patagonia over the last dozen years has seen a steadfast commitment to its core values. And a lot of that could be attributed to Marcario’s steady hand on the wheel.
She joined Patagonia in 2008 as CFO and oversaw a period of rapid growth within the company. Between 2008 and 2014, when she began her watch as CEO, the company tripled its profits.
Although Marcario oversaw a healthy bottom line, the company is known to ruffle feathers. Working with founder Yvon Chouinard, Marcario launched many initiatives advocating and advancing climate and environmental policies.
Among these, Marcario and Chouinard started Patagonia Provisions, a regenerative organic food company aimed at changing how we grow our food. Along with the Rodale Institute and Dr. Bronner’s, she developed the Regenerative Organic Certification, the highest bar of certification for workers’ and 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.
During her tenure, she helped establish Patagonia as a leader in the Benefit Corporation movement. She oversaw the company’s strategy to protect millions of acres of land, including Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, Jumbo Valley in British Columbia, and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
And she helped leverage brand strength for conservation goals, spearheading the movement to relocate the Outdoor Retailer trade show from Utah to Colorado in protest of state policies around national monuments.
‘Champion of Change’
While much of Patagonia’s work focuses on environmental advocacy, Marcario’s reach goes far beyond the outdoor industry.
In 2018, she founded Time To Vote, a bipartisan coalition of companies committed to increasing voter participation in U.S. elections. This movement now has nearly 500 companies and has received acclaim from both Republican and Democratic secretaries of state as well as election experts from leading public policy institutes and universities.
Under Marcario’s leadership, Patagonia gave away more grants to grassroots activists than any time in its history, according to the brand. In 2015, President Obama awarded her as a Champion of Change for her support of working families. And just last month, she ranked No. 1 on Fast Company’s Queer 50 list.
“Rose has grown our advocacy efforts in ways I could never have imagined,” said Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard. “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.”
Patagonia’s transition will be led by COO Doug Freeman. The brand did not say why Marcario is stepping down from her role.
“The company will be sharing more updates as it works to build on its accomplishments, values, and plan for the future with the intent on saving our home planet,” Patagonia said in a release.
Marcario will end her tenure on June 12, 2020.