The founder of Ventura, California-based Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard, has given away the $3 billion company to help fight climate change, he said.
Patagonia will go to a set of trusts and nonprofits that work to fight climate change. Chouinard said that he and his family now no longer own the company.
In an interview with the New York Times, 83-year-old Chouinard said, “Hopefully, this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a bunch of poor people.”
He said, “We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working on saving this planet.”
According to Forbes, Chouinard, who has a net worth of $1.2 billion, founded Patagonia in 1984 after a successful career in the apparel industry in the 1970s.
Forbes reported that the company has set aside 1% of its sales since 1985 to give money to grassroots environmental groups in the U.S. and other countries.
According to Bloomberg, Chouinard transferred all of the company's voting stock into a trust, and the rest of the shares will go to a nonprofit. Patagonia will continue to operate by selling products that customers are familiar with.
"The Patagonia Purpose Trust ensures the company’s commitment to its purpose forever," the company said.
Read the full letter from the company's founder about the transition here: