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Patagonia Hires New Chief Executive

VENTURA | West Ventura County Focus

May 09, 1996|STEPHANIE BROMMER

Patagonia Inc. announced Wednesday that it has named David B. Olsen of San Diego as the outdoor-clothing company's new chief executive officer.

Olsen, who was president of Peak Power Corp., a subsidiary of Magma Power Co., will move to Ventura and begin his job with Patagonia on June 3.

Olsen had been responsible for worldwide marketing and business development for Magma Power, which generates electricity from geothermal energy. He had formerly been president and chief executive officer of Northern Power Systems, which installed photovoltaic and wind-based power systems in 22 countries.

Before working in the renewable-energy business, he helped start Working Assets Money Fund, which invested in firms that meet social and environmental criteria. He also helped launch National Cooperative Bank.

Active in environmental causes, Olsen is chairman of the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Technology, an alliance of environmental and renewable-energy companies. He is also a founding member of the Business Council for a Sustainable Energy Future.

Olsen, who was offered the Patagonia position after a series of interviews that culminated in a morning of climbing with founder Yvon Chouinard, is active in white-water canoeing, ocean kayaking, backpacking and cross-country and alpine skiing.

Patagonia, incorporated in 1973, had more than $150 million in sales in the most recent fiscal year. The company gives 10% of its profits or 1% of sales, whichever is greater, to grass-roots environmental groups.

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