Hobby Lobby Owner Reveals He’s Giving Away His Multi-Million Dollar Company: Says He’s Left It To ‘God’
The billionaire owner of craft chain Hobby Lobby has explained that he has decided to “give away ownership of Hobby Lobby” – adding: “I have chosen God”.
David Green, 80, founded the company in his native Oklahoma in 1972 and oversaw the growth of the family business into a $6.4 billion nationwide chain.
Green wrote on Fox News on Friday that he understands the decisions made by Patagonia’s founder Yvon Chouinard and Alan Barnhart of Barnhart Crane.
Chouinard announced last month that he had turned over the $3 billion company to a purpose-built trust and non-profit, and that from now on all profits — around $100 million a year — will go towards fighting climate change and the protection of vacant land in the surrounding globe.
Barnhart, founder of a Tennessee construction company who, like Green, is an evangelical Christian, announced in 2007 that he was turning the company over to the National Christian Foundation (NCF). Barnhart still runs it, but hasn’t received any money from the company since 2007.
“Patagonia’s founder recently made headlines when he relinquished ownership of his company to keep its mission and purpose intact,” Green wrote Friday.
“His decision, while rare, mirrors the decision of other business owners like Alan Barnhart of Barnhart Crane.
“I experienced a similar decision making process with my owner of Hobby Lobby; I chose God.’
David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby, wrote a comment on Friday titled, “My decision to relinquish ownership of Hobby Lobby: I chose God.”
Green explained his religious beliefs, but unlike Chouinard and Barnhart, he did not detail to whom the company would be transferred, when, and under what terms.
David’s younger son Steve is the company president and his older son Mart is the department’s investment officer.
The trio – David and his two sons – are the only ones listed in the Executive Leadership section of the site.
David’s daughter, Darsee Lett, is said to be the company’s vice president of arts/creativity, while her husband, Stan Lett, was vice president of Hobby Lobby.
Hobby Lobby has yet to respond to DailyMail.com’s request for clarification.
“As an owner, there are certain rights and responsibilities, including the right to sell the business and keep the profits for you and your family,” Green wrote Friday.
“As our company grew, this idea began to bother me more and more. Well-meaning lawyers and accountants advised me to simply pass the property on to my children and grandchildren.
“It didn’t seem fair to me that I could change or even ruin the future of grandchildren who weren’t even born yet.”
He noted that the company had committed to paying a minimum wage of $18.50 an hour and was closed on Sundays — their most profitable business day.
“I think every CEO and director should consider whether they are owners or managers,” Green wrote.
“Think about where your success comes from. I’ve seen many companies with the biggest ideas fail and others with the simplest ideas thrive. I believe that God is the one who grants success and with it the responsibility of being a good manager.
“Best of all, like Patagonia’s Yvon Chouinard, making the decision to sell my property has allowed us to uphold our mission and purpose. It gives me a greater purpose than just making money.
“As Chouinard said, ‘Instead of ‘going public’, you could say we’re going ‘purpose-driven’.”
Green’s religious beliefs have underscored his leadership at Hobby Lobby.
The company objected to the government order guaranteeing access to contraceptives through company health insurance, arguing that it went against its religious beliefs.
The fight went all the way to the Supreme Court, with a 2014 ruling in favor of Green’s company.
In response to family support for Donald Trump and Mike Pence, the company faced boycott calls thanks to Pence’s evangelical background.
And during the pandemic, Hobby Lobby repeatedly flouted rules ordering stores to close, with David Green saying his wife had been sent a message from God to keep the doors open.
In November 2017, the Green family opened the Bible Museum – despite federal court orders to return some of the Biblical artifacts to Iraq, where they were looted, and to pay a $3 million fine.
In March 2020, the Green family announced they would return an additional 11,500 antiques to Iraq.
The museum’s “Dead Sea Scrolls” were also found to be forgeries.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11342381/Hobby-Lobby-owner-reveals-GIVING-AWAY-multi-million-dollar-firm-Says-left-God.html?ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490&ito=1490 Hobby Lobby Owner Reveals He’s Giving Away His Multi-Million Dollar Company: Says He’s Left It To ‘God’