Who is Yvon Chouinard? Patagonia Founder Gives Away His $3 Billion Company to Battle Climate Change

A businessman is giving away his multi billion-dollar company to causes that support the fight against climate change. Yvon Chouinard, founder of outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia, has left the ownership of the company. The ownership of the 50-year-old company, headquartered in California, has been transferred to a non profit organization.

The trust will use the profits of the company for environment conservation efforts. Chouinard along with his wife and two children all have given away the ownership of the company, which is valued around $3 billion.

Yvon Chouinard
Yvon Chouinard Twitter

Chouinard Never Wanted To Be A Businessman

"Hey, friends, we just gave our company to planet Earth. OK, it's more nuanced than that, but we're closed today to celebrate this new plan to save our one and only home. We'll be back online tomorrow," said Patagonia in a tweet.

Stating that he never wanted to be a businessman, Chouinard said that he started as a craftsman, making climbing gear for his friends and himself, then got into apparel.

Carbon emission
Representative image Pixabay

Chouinard Also Had Option To Sell Patagonia

He said that as "we began to witness the extent of global warming and ecological destruction, and our own contribution to it, Patagonia committed to using our company to change the way business was done."

Detailing his plan to transfer the ownership, Chouinard pointed out that one option was to sell Patagonia and donate all the money. But they weren't sure a new owner would maintain our values or keep our team of people around the world employed.

Chouinard Also Considered To Take Company To Public

Another option was to take the company to the public but in the current situation, even public companies with good intentions are under too much pressure to create short-term gain at the expense of long-term vitality and responsibility, according to Chouinard.

Voting Stock Transferred To Patagonia Purpose Trust

The businessman transferred 100% of the company's voting stock to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, created to protect the company's values; and 100% of the nonvoting stock had been given to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.

Nonvoting Stock Transferred To Holdfast Collective

The funding will come from Patagonia: Each year, the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis, according to Chouinard.

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This article was first published on September 15, 2022