The news that Yvon Chouinard was giving away his wildly popular apparel company, Patagonia, send shockwaves across the internet. Many people found it hard to believe that a man would just hand his $3 Billion company over to a handful of non-profits.
If you find yourself asking, “Who is this man and why would he do such a thing?” you owe it to yourself to read his amazing memoir Let My People Go Surfing: The Education of a Reluctant Businessman. In it you get a real understanding of what has motivated Yvon his whole life, and it’s not money.
At his core, Yvon Chouinard, is still a dirtbag climber who seeks chalenges and adventure. His thoughtful memoir shows how he reached a healthy balance of life and work. His philosophy is one we can all learn from and be inspired by.
I have read the book more than once and highly recommend it.
So, Why Did The Founder Of Patagonia Give Away The Company? The awnsers are both simple, deep and worth your time.
Now with all that said, there are tax advantages he will receive from his gift. This side of the story is also worth learning about. You can read more on this in QZ’s fantastic interview with New York University law professor Daniel Hemel here- Patagonia’s $3 billion corporate gift is also a convenient way to avoid taxes.