The billionaire CEO of the Hobby Lobby craft store chain says he is giving his ownership in the company to a trust because “wealth can be a curse” and he wants to be a steward of “what God has given us.”
“Wealth can be a curse, and in most cases, if you dig into it, wealth is a curse in terms of marriage, children and things of that nature, so we’re running our business and therefore our kids come to work, and they get what they earn…it’s a paradigm shift in ownership that can really tear a family apart,” David Green saying Fox and Friends Weekend this weekend.
Mr Green, 80, founded family business in Oklahoma in 1972turning Hobby Lobby into a national chain with billions in revenue each year and earning a personal fortune of $13 billion, according to Forbes.
He announced the move in a opinion piece for Fox News on Friday.
“From the beginning, our purpose was to honor God in everything we did,” he wrote. “We worked hard and God gave us the results. Because we were blessed by God, we saw that it was a great privilege to give back. We have been able to provide hope by supporting ministries and planting churches around the world.”
“That larger mission and purpose helped me realize that I was just a steward, a steward of what God had entrusted to me,” he added. “God was the true owner of my business.”
The billionaire has not provided further details on how the trust structure will work, or whether the change in ownership will coincide with any new personal philanthropic endeavors.
The Hobby Lobby executive said his decision was inspired by the family behind outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, which announced in september it would be transferring its ownership stake to a trust, allowing the company to continue its extensive efforts to combat the climate crisis.
“Hopefully this will influence a new form of capitalism that doesn’t end up with a few rich people and a lot of poor people,” said Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, 83. said to New York Times. “We are going to give away the maximum amount of money to people who are actively working to save this planet.”
Mr. Green’s decision is not the first time he has mixed business and faith.
Hobby Lobby challenged an Affordable Care Act rule that requires companies to provide guaranteed access to contraception through their insurance plans, taking their case to the Supreme Court in 2014 and winning.
Mr Green supported Donald Trump and Mike Pence, and the store kept its doors open during the pandemic, saying they had received a message from God to do so.