The Bottom Line (Air Date: August 26, 2014) – In this first half of a two-part interview, Peter Metcalf describes how Black Diamond spawned from the small business created by mountain climber Yvon Chouinard in the 1960s. While Chouinard went on to found the outdoor retailing company Patagonia, Chouinard Equipment filed for bankruptcy and was reestablished by Metcalf as Black Diamond. The company now generates over $200 million dollars a year and trades as a publicly held company. Metcalf describes how the company moved from Ventura, California, to Salt Lake City, Utah, and set about improving what was crude climbing equipment to a “clean climbing” approach. He also shares the company’s philosophy on safety and culture, such as why Black Diamond voluntarily recalled tens of thousands of climbing axes when flaws were reported in 1993. Finally, Metcalf discusses his decision to step down as CEO in the coming year in order to commit more time to the climbing culture and community.
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