The Big SHFT: Michael Crooke, Sustainable Business Maverick
Michael W. Crooke’s résumé reads like a young achiever’s dream bio. The former Navy SEAL (underwater demolition team) holds a Ph.D. in management and has held senior executive roles at a number of companies in the outdoors industry, including Yakima, Kelty Packs, Pearl/Izumi and Patagonia, where he was CEO from 1999 to 2005.
It was Crooke’s time at Patagonia — the company founded by legendary environmentalist/businessman Yvon Chouinard — that taught him about value-driven leadership, a model that has informed his work ever since. Now a professor at Pepperdine University, Dr. Crooke coordinates the school’s new Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible (SEER) Business Practice Program, teaching future titans leaders how corporate responsibility makes good business sense.