CEO of Patagonia Donates Entire Patagonia Company worth 3 billion dollars for Research to fight climate change
Patagonia’s announcement that its founder, Yvon Chouinard, and his family are giving away their ownership in the outdoor apparel maker to benefit from climate change does not mean the company will become any less competitive. Yvon Chouinard (born November 9, 1938) is an American rock climber, environmentalist, philanthropist and outdoor industry businessman. No wonder he donated to climate change, but why so much? Was this a tax write-off? Is it a way they can get away from some kind of debt? On the contrary!
The unusual move comes at a moment of growing scrutiny for billionaires and corporations, whose rhetoric about making the world a better place is often overshadowed by their contributions to the very problems they claim to want to solve.
At the same time, Mr. Chouinard’s relinquishment of the family fortune is in keeping with his longstanding disregard for business norms, and his lifelong love for the environment.
In August, the family irrevocably transferred all the company’s voting stock, equivalent to 2 percent of the overall shares, into a newly established entity known as the Patagonia Purpose Trust.
The trust, which will be overseen by members of the family and their closest advisers, is intended to ensure that Patagonia makes good on its commitment to run a socially responsible business and give away its profits. Because the Chouinards donated their shares to a trust, the family will pay about $17.5 million in taxes on the gift.
The Chouinards then donated the other 98 percent of Patagonia, its common shares, to a newly established nonprofit organization called the Holdfast Collective, which will now be the recipient of all the company’s profits and use the funds to combat climate change. Because the Holdfast Collective is a 501(c)(4), which allows it to make unlimited political contributions, the family received no tax benefit for its donation.