‘Wealth is a curse’: Hobby Lobby Founder Says He is Giving Away His Company

Money is the root of all evil” isn’t always true necessarily, but it definitely does hold some weight. Money has a tendency to bring out the greed, jealousy, and worst of people. The founder of Hobby Lobby has found that wealth isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As a result, he’s decided to give his company away.

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Crediting Religion

David Green, the company’s founder, announced in October of 2022 that he would be giving up his company. It’s no secret that he is a firm believer in Christianity, and he credits his faith with his success and this decision. He believes that by passing Hobby Lobby down to his children or grandchildren, he would be doing future generations a disservice.

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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,” Green explained. “As our company grew, that idea began to bother me more and more. Well-meaning attorneys and accountants advised me to simply pass ownership down to my children and grandchildren. 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. When I realized that I was just a steward, it was easy to give away my ownership,” he continued.

Humble Beginnings

According to Forbes the Hobby Lobby founder has a net worth of $14 billion, but that wasn’t always the case. In 1970, he opened his first crafts shop with a loan for $600. Hobby Lobby originated in Oklahoma City, in a 300-sq-ft shop. 50 years later, there are now 970 locations across the nation.

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An Appealing Place for Employees

Hobby Lobby has a reputation for paying its workers well above minimum wage and offers employees a generous benefits package. Part of the package includes a health and wellness perk. They also have a policy in which the store is closed on Sundays to honor their beliefs. “I don’t care if you’re in business or out of business, God owns it… How do I separate it? Well, it’s God’s in church and it’s mine here? You can’t have a belief system on Sunday and not live it the other six days.” He said in relation to establishing Hobby Lobby, on a foundation of his faith.

Disturbed by the Negative Effects of Wealth

In regard to his decision Green said, “Wealth can be a curse and, in most cases, if you drill down on it, wealth is a curse in terms of marriage, children, and things of that nature.” He also explained that 100% of Hobby Lobby voting stock has been moved to a trust. Although not much else been revealed in relation to how he’ll be giving away the company.

Hobby Lobby Founder Chooses His Faith

The Hobby Lobby founder shared that he has “chosen God” over the company. He also appears to be disturbed by the negative effects of money stating, “Wealth can be a curse and, in most cases, if you drill down on it, wealth is a curse in terms of marriage, children and things of that nature.” He continued, “So we’re stewarding our company and, therefore, our children come to work, and they get what they earn… it’s a paradigm change from ownership that can really wreck a family.”

It has been speculated that another reason for making this decision has to do with avoiding a hefty tax bill. Regardless, it’s apparent that David Green is concerned with the wellbeing of his family and their relationships God.

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Sources

  1. ‘Wealth is a curse’: Hobby lobby founder says he is giving away his company.” Fortune. Alena Botros. October 25, 2022.
  2. Hobby lobby founder David Green giving away company because he ‘chose god’.” New York Post. Ariel Zilber. October 25, 2022
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