Hobby Lobby founder David Green is giving away the company. In explaining why, he directly referenced Yvon Chouinard, founder of the Patagonia outdoor apparel company. Back in September, Chouinard and his family put the ownership of the $3 billion company into a specially designed trust. This trust is created to preserve Patagonia’s independence, and ensure that all of its profits go to combat climate change. Which should certainly help considering the venture makes roughly $100 million a year.
The major difference here is Green claims his decision to give away Hobby Lobby was because he “chose God.” He believes faith is the “true source” of his success. “God was the true owner of my business,” Green said in an op-ed published by Fox News. “When I realized that I was just a steward, it was easy to give away my ownership.”
“As an owner, there are certain rights and responsibilities, including the right to sell the company and keep the profits for yourself and your family,” the Hobby Lobby founder elaborated. “As our company grew, that idea began to bother me more and more. Well-meaning attorneys and accountants advised me to simply pass ownership down to my children and grandchildren. It didn’t seem fair to me that I might change or even ruin the future of grandchildren who had not even been born yet.”
Green thinks “Wealth can be a curse and, in most cases, if you drill down on it, wealth is a curse in terms of marriage, children, and things of that nature.” Hence why he believes passing the company down may ruin lives in the future.
The details on how Green will give away Hobby Lobby are still unclear. But in an interview, Green did say 100% of the company’s voting stock has been moved into a trust. Possibly mirroring Chouinard’s approach.