September 20, 2022 – Patagonia, a high-performance outdoor apparel and accessories brand, has selected Hanold Associates HR & Diversity Executive to lead in its search for a head of total rewards. Kile Hanold and Adam Watson will lead the assignment.
As Patagonia continues to grow, this individual will be expected to align HR functions and policies to support the company’s employees. This leader will be charged with partnering closely with senior leaders and team members to expand Patagonia’s compensation and benefits philosophy. With the recent transfer of Patagonia’s ownership to an environmental trust, linking total rewards to Patagonia’s purpose and values will take on added significance.
Earlier this month, Patagonia announced that after nearly 50 years since founder Yvon Chouinard began his experiment in responsible business the Chouinard family has transferred all ownership to two new entities: Patagonia Purpose Trust and the Holdfast Collective. Most significantly, every dollar that is not reinvested back into Patagonia will be distributed as dividends to protect the planet.
“It’s been a half-century since we began our experiment in responsible business,” said Mr. Chouinard. “If we have any hope of a thriving planet 50 years from now, it demands all of us doing all we can with the resources we have. As the business leader I never wanted to be, I am doing my part. Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth, we are using the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source. We’re making Earth our only shareholder. I am dead serious about saving this planet.”
Patagonia will remain a B Corp and continue to give one percent of sales each year to grassroots activists. The leadership of the company does not change. Ryan Gellert will continue to serve as CEO and the Chouinard family will continue to sit on Patagonia’s board, along with Kris Tompkins, Dan Emmett, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Charles Conn (chair of the board), and Ryan Gellert. The Chouinard family will also guide the company’s controlling shareholder, the Patagonia Purpose Trust, electing and overseeing Patagonia’s board of directors. They will also guide the philanthropic work performed by the Holdfast Collective. Acting together, Patagonia’s board and the Patagonia Purpose Trust will be expected to work for the company’s continued success over the long term while ensuring it stays true to its purpose and values.
“Two years ago, the Chouinard family challenged a few of us to develop a new structure with two central goals,” said Mr. Gellert. “They wanted us to both protect the purpose of the business and immediately and perpetually release more funding to fight the environmental crisis. We believe this new structure delivers on both and we hope it will inspire a new way of doing business that puts people and planet first.”
Originally focused on climbing gear, Patagonia has since expanded into apparel and accessories for a range of outdoor sports and activities, including ski/snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking and more. Beyond apparel and accessories, Patagonia sells food under its Patagonia Provisions brand, which addresses environmental issues within the food supply chain. Headquartered in Ventura, CA, Patagonia has more than 100 retail stores in the U.S., Europe, and Asia and sells its products through specialty retailers, catalogs, or its self-owned website and stores.
In 2021, Hanold Associates’ Lisa Ramirez was named head of people and culture for Patagonia. Ms. Ramirez serves as a member of Patagonia’s leadership team in Reno, NV and leads the HR function for that location, developing the HR structure and Reno campus culture as the business grows. In this role, she creates people policies that meet the needs of the business and implement programs for leadership development and career planning. Ms. Ramirez is also a key partner and advocate for their anti-racism and justice work.
Respected HR Consultants
Hanold Associates is a boutique executive search firm focused on HR and diversity and inclusion officers. Its client list is diverse across industries, geographies, and business scenarios, and culture is at the core of everything the firm does. Its clients include the National Football League, Zoom, Domino’s Pizza, Under Armour, Gucci, Tom Brady’s TB12, Kohler, REI, Live Nation Entertainment, Dick’s Sporting Goods, McDonald’s, Major League Baseball, Kellogg, Apollo, Big Ten Conference, Blackstone, TPG, L Catterton, Northwestern University, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Electronic Arts, Fiat-Chrysler, SC Johnson, eBay, Moderna, Hillrom, Great Place To Work, Fossil, Vail Resorts, AbbVie, Carnival Corp., Biogen, Allstate, Bridgestone, Wikimedia, ClubCorp, Nike, Abercrombie & Fitch, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, and Ford Motor Co., among others.
Kile Hanold focuses on recruiting and building out the team of direct reports to HR officers including talent acquisition, talent management, and total rewards leaders. Prior to joining Hanold Associates, Mr. Hanold was with Federal Program Management, a consulting firm that specializes in federal government contracts. Some of his clients included BlueScope Steel of Australia, Deere & Company, Siemens of Germany and Saab Barracuda. Before that, he was director of operations for 1iota Productions in Los Angeles.
Mr. Watson, head of communications for Hanold Associates, is based in Salt Lake City, UT. He specializes in employee communications and has a passion for building company cultures that are transparent, productive, and safe for all team members, according to the search firm. He brings more than a decade of marketing and communications experience across multiple high-growth technology companies, including three different unicorns based in the Silicon Slopes. Prior to Hanold Associates, Mr. Watson served as director of communications for InMoment, a B2B tech company in the customer and employee experience space.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media