Michael Crooke has been hired to run PrAna, the environmentally conscious American brand of rock climbing and yoga apparel, as the company's co-founder, Beaver Theodosakis, takes a step back to concentrate on brand strategy. His wife Pam will continue to head up product design.

Crooke has a long history in the outdoor business. He acted as president and chief executive of Patagonia between 1999 and 2005. He was also for a while chairman and CEO of Pearl Izumi and managing director of Kelty Packs. Most recently Crooke acted as CEO of Revolution Living, a company where he helped its founder, Steve Case, to inspire people to live more balanced and meaningful lives.

An expert in forestry and a graduate in management, he served earlier as a U.S. Navy SEAL for four years.

Founded 14 years ago, PrAna has been the property o of Liz Claiborne until last February, when it was sold along with 15 other non-core brand by that American group. A management group led by Beaver Theodosakis and an investment company, Steelpoint Capital Partners, took over PrAna for $36.5 million in cash and for an additional amount of up to $4.0 million that would depend on its profitability in 2008.

Liz Claiborne said that it would take a writeoff of $18.4 million on the transaction.