Chris Clark - Halloween / Transition out of The North Face
l asks Chris about how she heard about Jack deciding to start a new company and how she decided to leave the North Face and become a part of it.
Al: When did you find out that Jack was thinking of starting a new company?
Chris: Well, we had heard the rumors of Jack and a group from Sierra Designs buying Sierra Designs and we have been hearing the rumors for several months, and knowing that all of their offers were always rejected. And Jack had actually called me, probably, maybe a month or two before the actual walkout day and asked me whether or not I would consider coming to Sierra Designs if they were able to buy it and run their accounting department. And I said that yes, I would consider that and he took down my home number. And then on Halloween Day of ’93 I actually I didn’t know about the walkout until the day after, and the day after I was actually at the North Face participating in the inventory count and that’s when I heard that they had all walked out. And when I got home from that inventory count that day, my husband told me that somebody named Jack had called and I proceeded to return Jack’s phone call and talk with him about coming over potentially to the new company that they were going to start.
Al: - So, you were there basically behind enemy lines; what was the buzz inside North Face when we all disappeared in Sierra Designs?
Chris: Well, there is a lot of, certainly a lot of rumblings. The HR department, I think, was attempting to keep everything quiet. But there really wasn’t any way to keep that kind of news quiet. So that next Monday that was pretty much all that was discussed by those of us in the ranks.
Al: Okay, so then you had this period of time to decide then, did you decide really or tell me about the process that you made decision?
Chris: Well, I had already one decided that it was time for me to leave the North Face. I had actually been on a couple of interviews with other companies because I was ready to go, and so I talked with my husband about this opportunity that was presented and he, of course, had a lot of questions regarding, well, how much money do they have; what…you know the standard kind of questions that you would have about going to a brand new enterprise. And I, well, a lot of what my decisions was about, was six months, which Jack told me he had enough capital for six months. Six months at a new company doing something new, learning something new, was better than six more months at the old company where I was not happy.
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