Advancing Ownership in Cutting-Edge Industries: How the Federal Government Can Ensure that the Tech Sector Shares Profits With Workers
Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya made national headlines in 2016 when he announced that he would grant his employees a 10 percent ownership stake in his 10-year-old Greek yogurt company when it goes public or is sold. All 2,000 full-time Chobani employees—whether top executives or factory-line workers—will be eligible for the grants, valued at $150,000, on average, according to a New York Times estimate. In a letter to employees, Ulukaya explained, “This isn’t a gift. It’s a mutual promise to work together with a shared purpose and responsibility.”
Many hailed Ulukaya’s broad-based benefit as unique, particularly at a time when the incomes of ordinary Americans have failed to keep up with the pay of top executives. Yet this sort of approach was far more common 20 years ago.
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Senior Director, American Worker Project