Francisco Morales was born in Caracas, Venezuela. At the age of 19, he traveled to the United States to learn English in a full immersion program and enrolled in the Philadelphia School of Textiles and Science, now Jefferson University, where he graduated Cum Laude.
He secured his first job with L.L. Bean, who was going through a major cost reduction at the time. He immediately demonstrated his value by providing his technical expertise in product costing and ended up saving the company $80M in the first two years. He was promoted twice and created a textile department within L.L. Bean that was responsible for sourcing, development, and quality management of all raw materials for the company.
He then joined the private label division of Dicks Sporting Goods where he was exposed to building brands from the ground-up, designing, and sourcing products across categories. After an introduction to Dan Costa, who had purchase the outdoor apparel company Royal Robbins, he jointed as minority partner on the brand. The duo doubled sales of the company and spun off 5.11 Inc. in 2003.
Early on, he was President of 5.11 and spent most of his time on the product engine of the company from design to supply chain. Many of the company’s original patents were awarded to him directly because he personally created the products. He became CEO in 2018 and 5.11 has had record revenue and profits every year thereafter.
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