Regional Manager Southern Europe
Start year: 1999
Work location: Annecy, France
Why do you work for Patagonia?
I've been working here for almost 22 years. I always wished to work within the sports industry - and especially in outdoor sports - in order to connect my passions and my job. Discovering, over time, the scope and depth of all that Patagonia is doing for the environment has clearly contributed to my decision to keep working for the company for so long. I have had quite a few different roles over this time, getting the chance to work with different people and different tasks. Working at Patagonia has always felt as if I am with family and friends.
Which Patagonia environmental initiative is closest to your heart?
1% for the Planet. The idea behind this giving programme is not only to do good, but to inspire others to do good. And this approach represents so much of our current challenges. Patagonia alone can do its very best but will in no way succeed in solving the environmental crisis. It's only by inspiring, and partnering with, others that we can hope for a different future for our planet.
What do you like doing outside of work?
I've been passionate about sport my whole life. I don't like one sport but love them all. I grew up in the mountains of Grenoble in France, and I started skiing when I was two years old. I was among the first snowboarders in France in the mid 80s. At that time I also discovered windsurfing with my dad and kept that passion until I transitioned into surfing and kitesurfing. I'm also very much into running, trail running and mountain biking. During the winter time, I am often ski touring as I live in the mountains. When snow shows up at low altitude I can start my ski touring trip from my garden.
I love spending time with my family. I have a wife and three lovely kids. Some of our best times are spent on vacations outside, in a motor home, discovering the wonderful regions in Europe and practicing our sport passions.
I'm also an avid chess player and follow whatever is happening in the chess world.
What is the best thing about working at Patagonia?
Not many companies are as inspiring as this one. I feel grateful that I crossed its path so early. Most of my peers in other companies have to focus on financial KPIs. These also exist at Patagonia - we are a company, after all - but there are many, more important, long term missions and goals around saving the planet.
What is the craziest thing that you have seen at work?
A huge costume party at our Global head office in Ventura. Everyone really played the game and brought the full costume - including the top management. it was an amazing night with unbelievable pictures.
Who is the most memorable person you have met whilst working at Patagonia?
Holger Bismann. He was General Manager for Europe until he passed away in 2011. He was my mentor. His leadership really inspired me - managing to get the best out of people. He started the long road to making Patagonia a strong brand in Europe. Holger was much more than a boss or a colleague. He was inspiring in many ways and, among other things, taught me you get so much more with a smile and a positive attitude.