Outdoor Apparel Maker Patagonia's 'Only Shareholder' Now Isn't A Person — It's 'Earth'

Zinger Key Points
  • Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard donates entire stake worth $3B to save the planet.
  • The Chouinard family will continue to sit on the board.

Outdoor clothing maker Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard said the “Earth” owns the company going forward.

What Happened: The “Earth is now our only shareholder,” wrote Chouinard in a recent letter. The founder said he was transferring 100% of the company’s voting stock to a trust created to protect the company’s values and 100% of the nonvoting stock has been given to a nonprofit collective dedicated to “fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.”

Patagonia’s new owners will be the Holdfast Collective and the Patagonia Purpose Trust. The Collective will own 98% of the company and the nonvoting stock, while the Trust will own 2% and all the voting stock.

The company will be led by Ryan Gellert as CEO along with all its employees under the direction of the board of directors. The Chouinard family will continue to sit on the board and guide the Holdfast Collective’s philanthropic work. 

Why It's Important: Patagonia is worth $3 billion and has been in existence for more than half a century, according to a report from The New York Times.

Chouinard, aged 83 years, was described as a “reluctant” billionaire by The New York Times report, which said that the Trust and Collective were designed to ensure that the company’s $100 million-a-year profits are used to combat climate change.

“Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people,” said Chouinard in an interview, according to The New York Times.

Recently, a fellow billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates also addressed climate change and its impact on food self-sufficiency in Africa.
Read Next: Bill Gates Has Humorous Take On Why He Became Global Target of Conspiracy Theorists: 'They Didn't Know' Who Fauci Was

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