The man who started Hobby Lobby has announced that he will donate to the business.
David Green mentioned Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, in an opinion piece that was published by Fox News the week before last. Chouinard had only recently announced that he would be giving away his company.
Green, on the other hand, explained his decision by saying that he “chose God,” in contrast to Chouinard’s explanation. He claimed that his faith was the “real basis” of his success and that the decision to give away his firm came down to a personal conflict between thinking of himself as an owner of his company or as a steward of his company.
“As an owner, there are certain rights and obligations, including the right to sell the firm and keep the earnings for yourself and your family,” he added. “As a result of these rights and responsibilities, you have the right to sell the company.” “As the size of our organization continued to expand, the thought of it continued to irritate me. A number of well-meaning attorneys and accountants gave me the advice to merely transfer ownership to my offspring and subsequent generations. It didn’t seem right to me that I might potentially alter or even destroy the future of my grandchildren, especially since they hadn’t even been born yet.
In his final piece, Green explained that he had arrived at the conclusion that he was merely a steward and that “God was the true owner of my firm.”
It was simple for me to relinquish my ownership once I understood that I was merely a steward, he wrote in his journal.
In an interview that took place over the weekend with Fox & Friends Weekend, Green mentioned that one hundred percent of the company’s voting stock had been transferred to a trust. The specifics of how Green will give away his company are not yet known.
On the broadcast, he stated that “money can be a curse,” and that “if you dig down on it, riches is a curse in terms of marriage, children, and things of that type,” he also added that “wealth may be a burden.” “Since we are the stewards of our firm, our children are encouraged to come to work, and they are compensated for their efforts… It’s a shift in perspective from ownership, and it has the potential to completely devastate a family.
Forbes estimates that Green’s individual wealth is worth fourteen billion dollars.
The religious ties of Hobby Lobby’s founders have been in the spotlight on multiple occasions over the course of the past few years. In 2014, the Supreme Court issued a decision that found in favor of Hobby Lobby in its challenge to the mandate imposed by the Affordable Care Act that forced employers to furnish coverage for Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill. The shop claimed that this action violated the religious freedoms of both the corporation and its owners.
Green and his family also invested $500 million to open the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. in 2017. This museum, which covers the history of the Bible and is owned by the family, opened in 2017. After it was discovered that several of the relics exhibited in the museum were either stolen or fraudulent, it has subsequently become the topic of criticism. In addition, in March 2020, while the epidemic was still in its early stages, the retail company made the decision to keep its stores open because, as Green explained it, “workers can all rest knowing that God is in control.”
The request for comment that Fortune sent to Hobby Lobby was not immediately met with a response.