Cotopaxi CEO and Founder, Davis Smith will transition to Chairman of the Board

Cotopaxi’s CEO & Founder, Davis Smith, will be transitioning to Chairman of the Board at the company and will be assigning his current CEO role to Damien Huang, on July 1, 2023.

Davis created Cotopaxi–a brand committed to making capitalism better–a decade ago. During his tenure as CEO, the company has grown to over 300 employees, has assisted an estimated 3.5 million individuals living in poverty through Cotopaxi’s impact work, and as of 2022, reached a landmark milestone, doubling sales from 2021 and surpassing $100 million in revenue. Cotopaxi is profitable and continues to grow rapidly.

Over the last year, Davis recruited experienced leaders like Damien Huang (the former CEO of Eddie Bauer), Grace Zuncic (the former Chief People Officer of Chobani), and Brad Hiranaga (the former Chief Brand Officer of General Mills), to drive continued growth and accelerate the company’s poverty-fighting mission. The entire executive leadership team, including Stephan Jacob, COO and Co-Founder, will remain in place under Damien’s leadership. Cotopaxi’s commitment to conscious capitalism will remain at the heart of Cotopaxi mission and business aspirations.

“Cotopaxi has experienced remarkable growth over the last nine years and is proof that doing good and doing well are not mutually exclusive. There is indeed a better way of doing business which is putting people and planet first. We have a team of leaders who believe deeply in our mission to do good in the world which gives me a lot of confidence in this transition,” explains Davis. “I am excited for this next phase in my career as the lifelong steward of Cotopaxi’s brand, purpose, and mission, while also creating the right conditions for me to pursue something of great importance in my personal life.” Davis was recently asked by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to serve a three-year, unpaid leadership role in Recife, Brazil, where he will act as Mission President. “Leading the rigorous selection process to fill the president role that Damien now holds—and working closely with him over the past eight months—have given me every confidence in his abilities as a leader.  Damien possesses the experience, acumen, and heart to lead the company to even greater heights, while maintaining the central social mission qualities that elevate Cotopaxi among outdoor gear brands” said Davis.

Effective July 1, 2023, Davis will begin serving as Chairman of the Board. As Chairman, his primary areas of focus will be on stewarding the company as a mission-driven brand, as well as the company’s impact work, culture, and team. He will be involved as an active board member, will remain a passionate brand advocate, and will continue to proudly represent Cotopaxi as its Founder.

Damien Huang currently serves as president of Cotopaxi. He joined the company in May 2022 from Eddie Bauer, where he had served as CEO.  Damien has also held positions at Patagonia as VP of Design and Merchandising and at The North Face, where he spent a decade in a number of product roles.  He came into the new role of President at a time of astronomical growth for the company.

“Like all great companies, Cotopaxi thrives not only because of a single visionary leader, but because that leader created and nurtured a culture and team that fuels the vision. We are all part of something more meaningful than our individual roles. This past year, Davis entrusted an expanded leadership team with taking the Cotopaxi brand to its next level, and I am honoured to take an elevated role as part of that team,” said Damien.

Cotopaxi will continue to inspire consumers to embark on outdoor adventures and, in turn, create global change by focusing on prioritizing both people and planet. The company will continue to tie its earnings to impact, donate at least 1% of annual revenue toward fighting extreme poverty and consider every phase of a product’s lifecycle, including sourcing sustainably-minded materials, working with factories that treat people right, and making durable gear that lasts.

Cotopaxi is leading a cultural movement that integrates all aspects of the brand to inspire consumers, employees and partners toward action and impact behind the company’s mission. With sales now exceeding $100MM and a strong leadership team in place, Cotopaxi will leverage its growth to drive even more impact by moving more people to do good and to constantly innovate new ways to improve human sustainability through conscious capitalism.

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