Marketing Currents - Business and Marketing Current Events

Patagonia Founder Gives Away the $3 Billion Company: ‘Earth Is Now Our Only Shareholder’


Patagonia has a new owner –– Earth.

Yvon Chouinard – the founder of the well-known outdoor retailer – announced via an open letter on the company’s website that he and his family have given away Patagonia to a non-profit organization and specially developed trust to help combat climate change. Patagonia is worth around $3 billion.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is a marketing plan?
  2. What is a mission statement?
  3. Why are mission statements important to a business or brand?
  4. What do you think Patagonia’s mission statement might look like?
  5. What is leadership?
  6. Why is leadership important in business?
  7. Who is Yvon Chouinard?
  8. How might Yvon Chouinard represent an example of a successful entrepreneur?
  9. Why did he decide against going public or selling the business and donating the proceeds of the sale to the causes he supports?
  10. What might the decision to give the company away to a nonprofit say about Yvon Chouinard’s leadership style?
  11. What is corporate responsibility?
  12. Historically, what has Patagonia’s approach to corporate responsibility been?
  13. Why do you think Yvon Chouinard chose to give the company away to a nonprofit?
  14. What is a brand?
  15. What is brand image?
  16. How would you describe Patagonia’s brand?
  17. Moving forward, what can the brand do to continue its mission despite no longer being owned by Yvon Chouinard?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.