Net worth

Who is the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chouinard? Net worth and more

Adventurers are most likely familiar with outdoor apparel brand Patagonia, but following news that company founder Yvon Chouinard is divesting his $3 billion brand, people are eager to hear more about it. the non-traditional entrepreneur.

The decision to transfer ownership of the company to a special trust and non-profit organization was made to ensure that Patagonia stays true to its roots and that all of its profits go to the fight against climate change and to the protection of the environment.

“Let’s hope it influences a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich and a bunch of poor,” the 83-year-old “reluctant businessman” said in an interview with The New York Times. “We’re going to donate as much money as possible to people who are actively working to save this planet.”

Keep scrolling to learn more about Chouinard and Patagonia.

Who is Yvon Chouinard?

In the 1960s, Yvon Chouinard was an avid climber who lived in his car and ate cat food to survive. He began making climbing gear and clothing for his friends, then launched Patagonia in 1973. His mission has always reflected Chouinard’s benevolent attitude: the brand donated 1% of its sales to environmental causes during decades, according to NYT.

Chouinard “never wanted to be a businessman,” he wrote in a letter to Patagonia customers announcing the plan, and his passion for sustainability never waned even as Patagonia grew. With his distaste for capitalism and his mission to help the environment, he set out to “change the way business was done”. Today, Chouinard stays true to his simplistic roots and doesn’t have a computer or cell phone.

How much are Chouinard and Patagonia worth?

Chouinard’s net worth is estimated to be around $1.2 billion per Forbes, but he is not happy about it. “I was in Forbes magazine listed as a billionaire, which really, really pissed me off,” he told the NYT. “I don’t have $1 billion in the bank. I don’t drive Lexus.” As for Patagonia, the brand has an estimated value of $3 billion. It sells over $1 billion worth of outdoor apparel and gear and generates $100 million in revenue annually.

Where is Patagonia headquartered, and is it a private company?

Patagonia operates out of Ventura, Calif., and will remain a private, for-profit company to continue generating wealth that will be used exclusively to help the environment. “Even public companies with good intentions are under too much pressure to create short-term gains at the expense of long-term vitality and accountability,” Chouinard wrote in his letter to clients. “Instead of ‘going public,’ you could say we’re ‘going for a purpose.’ Instead of extracting value from nature and turning it into wealth for investors, we will use the wealth created by Patagonia to protect the source of all wealth.”

To do this, the Chouinard family transferred 2% of its voting shares into a Patagonia Purpose Trust to oversee and ensure the brand remains true to its values. The remaining 98% of the family’s shares will go to his new Holdfast Collective non-profit organization to fight climate change. The family will pay $17.5 million in taxes on the donation and receive no tax benefit for their donation to the nonprofit.

Who are Yvon Chouinard’s wife and children?

Chouinard has been married to his wife Matilda Chouinard, née Pennoyer, since 1971. They have two children, Fletcher and Clare. Together, they have never wavered in their goal of doing good and giving what they can. “This family is an exception when you consider that most billionaires donate only a tiny fraction of their net worth each year,” said David Callahan, founder of the Inside Philanthropy website. The New York Times.

The Chouinards don’t expect a pat on the back for their generosity either, because for their patriarch, it’s common sense. “I didn’t know what to do with the business because I never wanted a business,” he told the NYT. “I didn’t want to be a businessman. Now I could die tomorrow and the business will continue to do the right thing for the next 50 years, and I don’t need to be here.”