Half a century after founding outdoor apparel maker Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, the quirky rock climber who became a millionaire in an unconventional twist of capitalism, has left the company.
Rather than sell the company or take it public, Chouinard, his wife, and two adult children will invest in a custom-designed Patagonia property worth approximately $3 billion ($4.4 billion). transferred to a trust and non-profit organization.
They were created to preserve the company’s independence and ensure that all of its profits (approximately $100 million a year) are used to fight climate change and protect undeveloped land around the world. it was done.
The unusual move comes at a time of heightened scrutiny against billionaires and corporations. Their rhetoric of making the world a better place is often overshadowed by their contributions to the very problems they claim to solve.
At the same time, Chouinard’s parting with his family’s fortune is consistent with his long-standing disregard for business norms and lifelong love of the environment.
“I hope this will influence a new form of capitalism that goes beyond just the rich and the poor,” Chouinard, 83, said in an exclusive interview. “I will donate the maximum amount of money to those who are actively working to save this planet.”
Patagonia will continue to operate as a private, for-profit company based in Ventura, California, selling $1 billion worth of jackets, hats and ski pants each year. But the Chouinard family, who ruled Patagonia until last month, no longer own the company.
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