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Patagonia: Earth is now our only shareholder

The Guardian | Rupert Neate | Sep 15, 2022

Yvon Chouinard Patagonia - Patagonia:  Earth is now our only shareholderYvon Chouinard, Patagonia, Founder announced he was giving away all of the shares in Patagonia to a trust that will use future profits to “help fight” the climate crisis.

“Earth is now our only shareholder,” Chouinard, 83, said in a message to staff and customers. “Instead of ‘going public’, you could say we’re ‘going purpose’. Instead of extracting value from nature and transforming it into wealth for investors, we’ll use the wealth Patagonia creates to protect the source of all wealth.”

  • Forbes 2017 article:  In the article, Forbes crowned Chouinard as a billionaire and added him to its list of the world’s richest people. While many people daydream of achieving a nine-zero fortune, for Chouinard it was a sign he had failed in his life’s mission to make the world a better and fairer place.
    • The publication of a magazine article in 2017 “really, really pissed off” Yvon Chouinard, the mountain climber turned reluctant businessman and founder of outdoor clothing company Patagonia.
    • I don’t have $1bn in the bank. I don’t drive Lexuses.” Chouinard, who drives a beaten-up Subaru with a surfboard strapped to the roof, says he hopes giving away the company “will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people”.
    • “But that’s not even the point,” Chouinard continued. “Being a dirtbag is a matter of philosophy, not personal wealth. I’m an existential dirtbag.”

See:  Bill Gates Announces $20 Billion Donation and Obligation to Return His Resources to Society

  • Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman, Chouinard wrote that if he “had to be a businessman” he was “going to do it on my own terms”.  “Work had to be enjoyable on a daily basis. We all had to come to work on the balls of our feet and go up the stairs two steps at a time. We needed to be surrounded by friends who could dress whatever way they wanted, even be barefoot,” he wrote.

“We don’t care when you work, as long as the work gets done”

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