Patagonia appointed Ryan Gellert as CEO of Patagonia Works, the umbrella company for all its ventures. The announcement comes a little over three months after Rose Marcario stepped down from the top spot after 12 years at the company.
Gellert was Patagonia’s managing director of Europe, the Middle East and Africa for the last six years. He joined Patagonia in 2014.
Patagonia said its board of directors determined that his deep commitment to the company’s mission and long-held values, as well as his international experience, best positioned Patagonia for success in these uncertain times. Further, Gellert’s attentiveness and dedication to seeing others excel, and his passion for Patagonia’s product and activism, made him the right choice for the organization’s next chapter.
Since 2014, he has elevated Patagonia to a position of leadership in Europe’s outdoor industry and environmental communities, according to Patagonia. Prior to his time at Patagonia, Gellert was president of Black Diamond where he worked for nearly nine years. He’s an active climber and backcountry snowboarder.
“The board took a lot of factors into consideration and ultimately felt Ryan’s deep commitment to Patagonia’s mission and values—that the company has had since the beginning—and his experience leading internationally, best positioned us for success in these uncertain times,” Kris Tompkins, a Patagonia board member, said in a statement. “Further, Ryan’s attentiveness and dedication to seeing others excel, and his passion for our product and activism, made him the right choice for Patagonia’s next chapter.”
“The work ahead promises to be more important and satisfying than anything we have done so far,” she added.
“I am honored and humbled for the opportunity and keenly aware of the responsibility to lead this company in this critical time,” stated Gellert. “No one’s expectations of Patagonia are higher than our own. Everything we do needs to ladder back to our mission of being in business to save our home planet and we need to do that in a way that is just, equitable and inclusive of all people. Ambitions don’t get much bigger than that. And while there will be more tough days ahead as we challenge norms, I am excited to do the work alongside Patagonia’s talented and passionate professionals. And, I am certain we will also have some fun along the way.”
COO Doug Freeman has been the interim CEO as the privately held company’s board and founder Yvon Chouinard searched for Marcario’s successor.
In an organizational restructuring, Patagonia also appointed Jenna Johnson, who previously led Patagonia’s technical outdoor business, will serve as head of Patagonia, Inc. where she will oversee Patagonia’s apparel and equipment division as the company works to align business more strongly with its mission and sport communities. With 20 years as an outdoor industry professional, a lifelong climber, and as someone who enjoys biking, running, and skiing, she has deep roots in Patagonia’s sport communities.
Lisa Williams, formerly chief product officer, is now head of innovation, design and development. In this role, she will accelerate Patagonia’s Mission by leading breakthrough ideas in material, carbon-capturing business models and design. This elite creative team also includes Tin Shed Ventures as well as Patagonia’s repair, share and recycle business, Worn Wear. Williams, who joined Patagonia’s product team in 2001, will continue to report to the CEO in this new role.
Photo courtesy Patagonia