By: Rich DePencier and Philippe Harousseau
I’m sure many of you read with intrigue recently when Yvon Chouinard, CEO of the revered outdoors company Patagonia, signaled that he was “giving away” his company – essentially, donating the value of his ownership interest to charity.
Though this is a rather extreme example of corporate philanthropy at work, the lesson regarding purpose is especially relevant in these days of corporate transparency. The digital revolution has empowered the public to look deeper than ever before at the enterprises with whom they choose to do business. No longer can a company point to its mission, vision, and values statements as sole evidence of a higher purpose.