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Stories

The Dirtbag of Patagonia

The Story of Yvon Chouinard


Florida, 1991. A small group of executives have just left an emergency meeting with Dr. Michael Kami, a top company advisor in the US, who has strongly advised the group to get new jobs and sell their company.

In amongst this group sits its 53 year old founder, Yvon Chouinard, who has a very different idea on where to take his 18 year old company.

But in less than a year, Dr. Kami’s prophecy starts to be a reality; a reality of countless layoffs and a 40% drop in sales but instead of giving in to this reality, Chouinard decides to do something surprising.

Chouinard invites his top executives on a company retreat to the far reaches of the Americas, to Patagonia in southern Chile.

This decision would be a vital turning point for Yvon Chouinard and the fate of his company but this is not the first time Chouinard has taken a trip to Patagonia…