Photo by Hailey Arnold.
In addition to serving as Facebook’s Chief Product Officer for the past 13 years, Chris Cox is also a NOLS semester graduate. He says the lessons he learned about resiliency in Patagonia’s mountains have served him well at Facebook and beyond.
“In late 2003, during his senior year at Stanford, Chris Cox, the future Chief Product Officer at Facebook (FB), embarked on a 78-day National Outdoor Leadership School expedition to Patagonia, in Chile.
The trip began with sea-kayaking in driving rains along the Chilean coast and then progressed to mountaineering in white-out, blizzard conditions in the Andes, Cox recalls in an interview. There, the students learned glacial traversing and how to build buffers around their tents to ensure they wouldn’t get snowed under in their sleep.
Asked what he learned from this trip, Cox inquires if I’ve ever seen the film Meru.
‘You’ve gotta see this film,’ says Cox, who is 5’10”, fit, good-looking, with a crewcut. It’s about three mountain climbers ascending an unscaled summit in the Indian Himalayas. The movie was shot and co-directed by Jimmy Chin—a friend of Cox’s—who is also one of the climbers. ‘One of things you notice about Jimmy is: He’s always buoyant,’ Cox says. ‘In even the worst conditions, he’s helping everyone focus on moving forward. You have to be creating progress and motion and buoyancy. That’s a lesson that I have found really useful in all the really hard parts of the Facebook experience.’”
Read the full story.