Facing a difficult time for retail and rising concerns about a climate crisis, Ventura-based Patagonia announced Sept. 24 that Ryan Gellert, who has overseen its operations in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, will be its next CEO.
Gellert replaces Rose Marcario, who was CEO from 2014 until earlier this year. Doug Freeman, the company’s chief operating officer, has been leading Patagonia in an interim role since June.
Technically, Gilbert will oversee Patagonia Works, which is the holding company for Patagonia Inc.; Patagonia Provisions, the food division; Patagonia Media; Lost Arrow Solutions, its government affairs arm; the surfboard company Fletcher Chouinard Designs; Tin Shed Ventures, LLC, which makes investments; and Worn Wear, its used apparel unit.
“We are committed to the lifelong work of being better anti-racists and to being more inclusive as we live up to our mission of saving the planet,” Kris Tompkins, who was Patagonia’s first CEO and is now a director, said in a company news release. “Ryan is the right person with the best experience and leadership approach to guide our company.”
Before joining Patagonia in 2014, Gellert was president of Black Diamond, a mountain sports equipment company.
“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity and keenly aware of the responsibility to lead this company in this critical time,” said Gellert in the news release.
The company also announced that Jenna Johnson, who previously led Patagonia’s technical outdoor business, will serve as head of Patagonia Inc., the apparel and equipment division that is at the core of its brand. Lisa Williams, who joined Patagonia in 2001, will become head of innovation, design and merchandising. She will also oversee Tin Shed Ventures and Worn Wear.