Today marks Rich Hill's first day back to work after a summer of introspection and chasing many ideas following his departure from Patagonia in March. As of Aug. 28, Hill is the new president of Ibex, though he is staying put in Ventura, Calif., and not moving to Woodstock, Vt.
When asked why Ibex, Hill told us, "The people. I love the product. I love the size that the company is at. What is so fun about the job I have now, and the opportunity, is that once again, I get to be on an evangelical mission.
"Ibex is a company that has already made a substantial investment in its people and systems -- they have the warehousing, the website, the customer service, the controller. It is all there, and now is the right time for me to step in and grow this thing."
SNEWS® View: Not bad for a college kid who was working the sales floor of specialty outdoor retailer Adventure's Edge in Humboldt County, Calif., in 1986. Since then, Hill's path has taken him gradually up the ladder, including stints as a sales coordinator at Kokatat, a sales manager at Moonstone, a sales rep for numerous brands, a product manager for Kelty, vice president of sales for Marmot, and vice president of sales for Patagonia. This is a perfect match, both for Ibex company founder John Fernsell, and for Hill. Ibex is a very solid, though still quite small specialty manufacturer. With Hill's guidance, we would expect to see Ibex becoming a more significant player in the outdoor specialty market.