Cotopaxi COO & cofounder, Stephan Jacob on getting to $100M in revenue, brand building, supply chain, B Corps and ESG, and taking llamas on college campuses

Between Two COO's with Michael Koenig

May 2 2023 • 55 mins

Stephan Jacob, Co-founder and COO of Cotopaxi, joins Michael to talk about building an impact-driven business, how sustainability drives Cotopaxi’s product development, managing a CEO transition, the proliferation of certified B Corps, donating revenue to fight poverty in developing countries, brand building and taking on North Face and Patagonia, and taking llamas on college campuses.

With a humanitarian-drive and strong business acumen, Stephan’s career in the COO seat began at Cotopaxi, following the sale of his company, Kembrel in 2013. During this time, Stephan reconnected with an old University of Pennsylvania Wharton and Lauder Institute classmate, Davis Smith, with the commitment to build a brand for those who shared their values: a deep-rooted interest in giving back and a passion for the outdoors. From there, came Cotopaxi, an outdoors brand, which has never wavered from its ESG principles and humanitarian focus. Under Stephan’s stewardship, Cotopaxi has become a role model for how businesses can achieve the seemingly at-odds goals of making the world a better place while achieving growth. As a B-Corp using environmentally friendly sourced materials and ethically-sourced labor, Cotopaxi’s values and colorful apparel have struck a chord with its customers, generating $100m in revenue, aiding 1.5 million people in poverty, and assisting 90k refugees throughout South America in 2021 alone.

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