Patagonia founder gives up his shares in the company to fight climate change

Billionair Yvon Chouinard, Founder of American outdoor apparel company Patagonia, is giving his shares of the company to a trust that will use his profits to fight climate change.
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Yvon Chouinard, the billionaire founder of outdoor apparel and gear firm Patagonia, has announced that he will be giving up all his shares in the company that he founded to help fight climate change.

Chouinard, who has a net worth of $1.2 billion, made his name as a rock climber in the early 1960s and built his company by creating and selling climbing tools.

In an open letter on the company's website, Chouinard announced that all his voting stock would be given to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, while the non-voting shares would be given to the Holdfast Collective, a non-profit dedicated to fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature. The trust will be overseen by members of Chouinard's family.

"Each year, the money we make after reinvesting in the business will be distributed as a dividend to help fight the crisis," wrote Chouinard. "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."

According to the New York Times, Patagonia will continue to operate as a private, for-profit firm but the Chouinard family will no longer control it. While other billionaires have given money to charity, the manner in which Chouinard is doing so means that he and his family would not financially benefit from it and may actually need to pay a tax bill for the donation.

YourStory has not independently verified this report.

(The story's image has been revised. )

Edited by Swetha Kannan

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