Hobby Lobby founder gives away company, says he ‘chose God’
(Gray News) – The owner and founder of Hobby Lobby announced Friday that he has given away ownership of the company, a decision he says he came to when he “chose God.”
David Green, the former CEO of Hobby Lobby, wrote an opinion piece published by Fox News in which he explained how he came to his decision and how his faith has guided him in his role as leader of the hobby company.
In the piece, Green said that his success as the owner of Hobby Lobby comes from God and that he considers himself a steward of the company rather than the owner. He also said business leaders in similar positions should consider whether they are owner or stewards of the businesses they lead.
“Consider the idea of where your success comes from,” he wrote. “I’ve seen many a business with the greatest of ideas not make it, and yet others with the simplest of ideas thrive. I believe that God is the one who grants success, and with it the responsibility to be a good manager.”
Green also said that he had certain rights and responsibilities as the owner of the company, including the right to sell it and keep the profits for himself and his family. He said this idea bothered him more and more as Hobby Lobby grew.
“Well-meaning attorneys and accountants advised me to simply pass ownership down to my children and grandchildren,” he wrote. “It didn’t seem fair to me that I might change or even ruin the future of grandchildren who had not even been born yet.”
He said his role as steward of the company was a great responsibility and that he wasn’t meant to take the profits for himself. He also said this idea led to Hobby Lobby raising its minimum wage to $18.50 an hour, closing its doors on Sunday, and closing every other day at 8 p.m.
Green also referenced former owner of Patagonia Yvon Chouinard, who in September gave away the clothing company to a trust and non-profit designed to use all profits to help fund efforts to curb climate change. Green said his decision, and that of Chouinard, allows them to sustain their mission and purpose.
“It gives me a bigger purpose than just making money,” Green wrote. “Like Chouinard said, ‘Instead of going public,’ you could say ‘we’re going purpose.’”
No details were provided by Green on how or when he will transfer ownership of Hobby Lobby.
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