Patagonia Founders ‘Gives Away’ Company in the Name of Environmental Conservation

Almost half a century ago American mountain climber– was founded by businessman Yvon Chouinard Patagonia, he has announced an unconventional kind of exit plan. In the company’s own words, it’s “going purpose” instead of “going public.”

Instead of selling the company or going public, the reluctant billionaire is transferring all ownership to two new entities: a trust and a nonprofit organization.

“If we have any hope of a thriving planet in 50 years, it requires all of us doing everything we can with the resources we have,” Chouinard says, referring to change in ownership. “Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into wealth, we use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source. We make the Earth our sole shareholder. I am absolutely serious about saving this planet.”

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