Patagonia Says Ownership Transfer Will Help Fight the Climate Crisis
Patagonia will remain a B Corp, investing 1% of sales toward grassroots activists, and its current leadership will stay in place.
Ryan Gellert will continue as CEO and the Chouinard family will be significantly involved, overseeing Patagonia’s board of directors by guiding the brand’s controlling shareholder, the Patagonia Purpose Trust. They will also be guiding any charitable work through the Holdfast Collective.
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“Two years ago, the Chouinard family challenged a few of us to develop a new structure with two central goals. They wanted us to both protect the purpose of the business and immediately and perpetually release more funding to fight the environmental crisis,” said Ryan Gellert, CEO of Patagonia. “We believe this new structure delivers on both and we hope it will inspire a new way of doing business that puts people and planet first.”
Patagonia communicated the news to its employees during a global town hall meeting on September 14 and has updated its website to feature a letter from founder Yvon Chouinard and the tagline “Earth is now our only shareholder.”
“Every time you read a new scientific report, it's clear the climate crisis is happening faster than we thought and it's worse than we thought. The stakes could not be higher. If we want to protect nature and support communities, businesses can’t continue to adhere to the prevailing economic model. Patagonia has been breaking the mold for decades, and now they have shattered it. Now I want to know, which companies will be next to step up?” said Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Patagonia board of directors.
This article first appeared on the site of sister publication, CGT.