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Dr. Michael W. Crooke (born February 25, 1957) is an American Businessman and Academic. Best known as the CEO of Patagonia, Inc. from 1999 to 2005, Crooke has held a held a variety of corporate leadership positions in industries ranging from Outdoor Equipment and Apparel to Venture Capital. He is currently a professor of advanced business strategy at the graduate business schools of both Pepperdine University and University of Oregon, and a strategic business consultant to high growth and established companies. As a consultant Crooke's stated focus is on “embedding environmental and social considerations into a great product or service [which] increases differentiation and maximizes shareholder value over the long-term” as well as “developing direct to customer strategies that create an emotional connection to the brand.”[1]

Early lifeEdit

Michael W. Crooke was raised in Eugene, Oregon. Crooke served as a Navy SEAL with Underwater Demolition Team 12 (UDT12) for four years, after successfully graduating from BUD/S training (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL) class 89.[2] As reported in business publications,[3] this experience with the SEALs proved foundational, informing Crooke's style as a future business leader.

He earned a degree in Forestry and an MBA from Humboldt State University,[4] and followed with a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University where he authored his dissertation, “ReEvolution of Business: A Mandala for the 21st Century,”[5] under the tutelage of preeminent psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Examining the connection between values alignment, FLOW and high performance, this work represents the culmination of research and personal experiences as a young Navy SEAL and while CEO of Patagonia[6] and would form the basis for the SEER model.


After leadership roles at outdoor equipment/apparel companies, Yakima Racks, and Moonstone, and serving as President of Kelty Packs in 1995, Crooke became CEO of Pearl Izumi in 1998. Crooke was next tapped to be CEO of Lost Arrow Corporation and Patagonia, Inc.,[7] where he increased employee engagement and enriched the brand such that the company rose to rank highly on numerous “Best Companies to Work For” lists.[8] He left Patagonia to serve as CEO at Revolution Living[9] backed by AOL-founder, Steve Case, where he oversaw Revolution's portfolio companies, Miraval Resorts, and Flexcar (now merged with Zipcar[10] ) among other sustainable and socially responsible holdings. In 2008 Crooke became CEO of prAna Living.[11] Dr. Crooke is a regular keynote speaker for conferences, companies and universities including Opportunity Green, Harvard University, Stanford University, Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and Cornell University.[12] He is also a featured guest on business talk radio on the subject of long-term business strategy.[13] Crooke serves on the board of directors of the Nantucket Project, an annual gathering of some of the worlds leading thinkers, visionaries and performers intended to help shape the national dialogue.[14] Crooke has served on the following nonprofit and corporate boards: Earthday Network, Santa Barbara Channel Keeper, Patagonia Inc, Revolution Living, prAna Living, and Kevita.


SEER at Pepperdine UniversityEdit

Crooke is the founding and lead faculty of the Socially, Environmentally, and Ethically Responsible (SEER) business certificate program at the Graziadio School of Business at Pepperdine University.[15] Based on Crooke's doctoral research, The SEER Business model focuses on innovating business strategies that incorporate social, ethical and environmental values profitably.[16] Developed to satisfy student demand, SEER certificate program at Pepperdine University under Crooke aims to provide students an opportunity to strengthen their understanding of the strategic issues facing corporations through four interrelated macro-values: Financial Strength, Product/Service Quality, Social Responsibility and Environmental Stewardship.[17] Pepperdine's literature states that through the SEER certificate program, students learn to integrate an eco-systems approach not only in emerging businesses but also existing organizations that aspire to evolve their business model and embed corporate social responsibly into the firm's DNA. By intention and design the certificate is meant to complement existing concentrations by offering electives in such fields as Strategy, Finance, Marketing and Organizational Management. Crooke personally teaches the Capstone Class required to receive the SEER certificate.

Under Crooke's direction, Pepperdine hosts an annual conference focused on socially responsible entrepreneurship called the SEER Symposium.[18] SEER Symposium speakers have included Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Rick Ridgeway, Chip Conley, Charlie Ayers, Ankur Jain, Courtney Reum and more.

Advanced Strategy at University of OregonEdit

Dr. Michael Crooke is the inaugural Avemere Professor of Practice and founding faculty of Advanced Strategy at the Lundquist College of Business at University of Oregon,[19] rated ninth on the Top 30 Global Green MBA Schools by Corporate Knights.[20]


Dr. Crooke is a regular author on articles regarding the subject of business strategy and has been featured in publications by the Stanford Graduate School of Business.[21] Along with Craid Wilson, Crooke authored “Creating Advocates: A Values-Oriented Approach to Developing Brand Loyalty” connecting Values and Purpose to customer acquisition and retention.[22] Additionally, he has authored an article about MBA programs fostering sustainable entrepreneurship for,[23] and wrote the foreword to the book, Management Reset: Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness by Edward E. Lawler III, Christopher G. Worley, David Creelman, Michael Crooke (Foreword).[24]

Awards and AccoladesEdit

In 2012, and the Ford Foundation named Crooke one of ten “Innovators Changing Our World.”[25] The short film dubbed Dr. Michael Crooke a “Sustainable Business Maverick.”[26] Trust Across America has named Dr. Crooke one of the top-100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior for two consecutive years (2012 and 2013).[27] Healing Lifestyles & Spas recognized Crooke as one of ten "metro spiritual pioneers" in 2006.[28]


  1. "About Michael Crooke". Fifth Normal Form, LLC. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  2. "Navy SEAL - Life After The Teams - Michael Crooke". Navy SEAL + SWCC Scout Team U.S. Navy SEALs. 02 Oct. 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  3. Stettner, Morey (2004-05-17). "Managing for Success | Leadership Skills From Navy Seals". Investors Business Daily. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  4. "Alumni - Michael Crooke". Humboldt State University. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  5. "Michael Crooke". Chautauqua Institution. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  6. Marsh, Ann (Aug. 2005). "The Art of Work | Business + Innovation". Fast Company. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  7. "Michael Crooke Discusses Background on Founding of Patagonia". Prendismo Collection. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  8. Alvarez, Fred (04 Feb. 2002). "Patagonia Again Tops for Workers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  9. "Patagonia CEO Michael Crooke Named CEO of Steve Case's Revolution Living". PRNewswire. 5 Jan. 2005. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  10. Heath, Thomas (31 Oct. 2007). "Zipcar and Flexcar Driven Together". Washington Post. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  11. "Michael Crooke Back Running an Outdoor Company -- This Time at Prana". SNews. 03 Dec. 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  12. Lang, Susan (20 Apr. 2001). "Michael W. Crooke, Chief Executive of Outdoor Clothing Company Patagonia, to Speak at Cornell April 24". Cornell Chronicle. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  13. "Guests - Michael Crooke". Business Rockstars. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  14. "Presenters - Michael Crooke, Ph.D". The Nantucket Project, LLC. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  15. "Meet the Faculty - Michael Crooke". Pepperdine University Graziadio School of Business and Management. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  16. "Dr. Michael Crooke, Former CEO of Patagonia Showcases His Innovative SEER Business Model - Which Focuses on Innovating Business Strategies That Incorporate Social, Ethical and Environmental Values Profitably". Opportunity Green. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  17. "Full-Time MBA | SEER Certificate Program". Pepperdine University. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  18. "SEER Symposium". Pepperdine University. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  19. "Crooke Joins University of Oregon as First Avamere Professor of Practice". University of Oregon News. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  20. "UO's MBA Program Rated Ninth Worldwide on Sustainability List". University of Oregon News. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  21. "Taking Care of the Environment Can Be Good Business Says Michael Crooke, CEO of Sportswear Giant Patagonia". Stanford Graduate School of Business. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  22. Crooke, Michael; Wilson, Craig (2011). "Creating Advocates: A Values-Oriented Approach to Developing Brand Loyalty". Graziadio Business Review. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  23. Crooke, Michael (16 Mar. 2011). "How MBA Programs Can Plant the Seed of Sustainable Entrepreneurship". 
  24. Lawler, Edward E; Christopher G. Worley, and David Creelman. Management Reset: Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 978-0470637982. 
  25. "Ford Launches Documentary Series, Education Push & Electric Car to Help Customers Make Greener Shift". The Business Journals. 18 Apr. 2012. 
  26. "The Big SHFT: Michael Crooke, Sustainable Business Maverick". Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  27. "Top 100 Thought Leaders In Trustworthy Business Behavior 2013". Trust Central. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 
  28. "Healing Lifestyles & Spas - 10 Metrospiritual Pioneers2". Healing Lifestyles. Retrieved 3 March 2014. 

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