Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard gives company away to save planet

by | Sep 15, 2022 | World

Billionaire founder of outdoor apparel brand transfers all the company’s stock to a non-profit dedicated to fighting climate crisis.The billionaire founder of outdoor apparel brand Patagonia, known for supporting environmental causes, says he is giving away the company to a trust that will use its profit to fight the climate crisis.
Yvon Chouinard, aged 83, who became famous for alpine climbs in Yosemite National Park and has a net worth of $1.2bn, could have sold the brand – valued at $3bn, according to The New York Times newspaper – or taken it public. He made the announcement on Wednesday.
Instead, he, his wife and their two children agreed to transfer all of Patagonia’s voting shares, or stock that gives the holder voting rights, in the company to a trust in charge of ensuring the brand’s environmental values are respected.
All of Patagonia’s non-voting shares have been transferred to a non-profit body dedicated to fighting against climate change and nature protection and conservation. Company profits will also be donated to the non-profit.
“Earth is now our only shareholder,” Chouinard wrote in an open letter on Wednesday posted to Patagonia’s website.
“I never wanted to be a businessman,” he explained. “I started as a craftsman, making climbing gear for my friends and myself, then got into apparel.”
He added: “As we began to witness the extent of global warming and ecological destruction, and our own contribution to it, Patagonia committed to using our comp …

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