Hobby Lobby Founder's Heirs Won't Get the Company

Wealth is a 'curse,' David Green says of decision to move control to trust
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2022 1:48 PM CDT
Hobby Lobby CEO: 'I Chose God' Over Profits
In this Feb. 29, 2016, file photo, David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby, speaks before a campaign rally for Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in Oklahoma City.   (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green says he chose to give away ownership of the company, as described in his 2017 book, to avoid the "curse" of "wealth" that "can really wreck a family." "From the very beginning, our purpose was to honor God in all that we did," he wrote in a Friday op-ed at Fox News, comparing himself to Patagonia's Yvon Chouinard. "That bigger mission and purpose helped me realize that I was just a steward, a manager of what God had entrusted me. God was the true owner of my business." And "as we were blessed by God, we saw it as a great privilege to give back. We've been able to provide hope through supporting ministries and planting churches all over the world." But Green wanted to go further.

"As an owner, there are certain rights and responsibilities, including the right to sell the company and keep the profits for yourself and your family. As our company grew, that idea began to bother me more and more," he wrote. "When I realized that I was just a steward, it was easy to give away my ownership." In short, "I chose God." And this in turn "allowed us to sustain our mission and purpose. It gives me a bigger purpose than just making money." He added that "well-meaning attorneys and accountants advised me to simply pass ownership down to my children and grandchildren." But "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 elaborated Sunday on Fox & Friends Weekend, saying "our children come to work, and they get what they earn." "It's a paradigm change from ownership that can really wreck a family," he continued, adding that "wealth is a curse in terms of marriage, children, and things of that nature." Green noted "100% of the company's voting stock has been moved to a trust," tasked with ensuring the company remains true to its mission. In the opinion article, he encouraged business leaders to follow his lead. "The Bible talks about giving a tithe or 10%," he wrote. "Can you imagine what would happen if every top leader in business became a tither? There would be literally billions available for good work around the world." (Read more Hobby Lobby stories.)

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