Patagonia former CEO Michael Crooke Joins Pepperdine’s Graziadio School, Launches MBA Eco-Entrepreneur Certification

PRESS RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -– Former Patagonia chief executive Michael Crooke, Ph.D., of Ojai, CA, will be joining Pepperdine University’s faculty as a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Business Practice at the Graziadio School of Business and Management, effective August 1, 2010. Dr. Crooke will coordinate the launching of the school’s new Certificate in Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible (SEER) Business Practice Program, and he will teach the capstone course on responsible business practice. He will also teach classes on strategy and leadership for organizational success.

Mark Mallinger, Associate Dean for the Graziadio School’s Full-Time MBA program, describes the SEER certificate program as “a commitment to the School’s values-centered leadership mission. SEER offers students an opportunity to strengthen their understanding of the strategic issues facing corporations and provides the skills needed for career enhancement.”

Crooke adds, “The Pepperdine eco-entrepreneur SEER certification will prepare students to begin integrating an eco-systems approach not only to emerging businesses but also existing organizations that aspire to evolving their perspective business model to embed corporate social responsibly into the firm’s DNA.”

“Michael Crooke brings to Pepperdine the perfect combination of applied business accomplishment, entrepreneurial spirit and a values-centered orientation that aligns with the Graziadio School’s mission to prepare students to lead the next wave of great organizations anchored in core values such as integrity, stewardship, courage and compassion,” said Linda A. Livingstone, dean of the Graziadio School.

From 1999 to 2005, Michael Crooke served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Patagonia, Inc., and Patagonia’s parent company, Lost Arrow Corporation. He succeeded Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, in taking the Lost Arrow post. Patagonia, a designer and distributor of technical outdoor clothing, is widely known for its commitment to product quality and environmental responsibility.

From 2005-2007 Crooke was CEO of Revolution Living, a group of companies working to change the way consumers and brands interact. Revolution Living was founded on the principle that business success is predicated on a commitment to corporate citizenship, environmental stewardship, product/service quality, and financial strength. In 2007-2008 Crooke served as the Senior Advisor to Revolution.

Most recently Crooke has counseled various high-growth businesses on strategic issues as independent consultant. He serves as a member of the board of Miraval Resorts, participating in strategic decision making regarding branding, marketing, and compensation. Crooke led the successful turnaround and repositioning of prAna LLC, an outdoor industry clothing company. As CEO, Crooke and his team divested unprofitable operations, developed new strategies and completely revamped all aspects of the operations in order to scale. The company is now profitable.

Crooke currently serves as a director of the following non-profit boards: Earth Day Network, founded by Denis Hayes, the co-originator of Earth Day; and Cate School, located in Carpinteria. He has also held director positions on the boards of the following organizations: 1% for the Planet founded by Yvon Chouinard; Santa Barbara Channel Keepers; Patagonia, Inc.; and the Conservation Alliance, the outdoor industry’s environmental grant-giving organization, including one year as Board President.

Crooke holds a Ph.D. in management from Claremont Graduate University. His dissertation examined the role of values (CSR) in high performance organizations. Crooke holds a B.S. in Forestry and an MBA from Humboldt State University.

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