Chobani CEO Giving Employees an Ownership Stake in Yogurt Empire

On Tuesday, April 26, Chobani CEO Hamid Ulukaya said that he would award his full-time employees an ownership stake in the privately held company. The awards total around 10 percent of the company’s value. However, they will only be worth something in the event of an IPO or sale of the company. According to a letter to the staff by Ululkaya, “This isn’t a gift. It’s a mutual promise to work together with a shared purpose and responsibility. To continue to create something special and of lasting value.”

Chobani Giving Employees an Ownership Stake

Chobani was started in 2007 by Ulukaya with a loan from the Small Business Administration and five employees. Currently, he has more than 2,000 employees across the country. The company produces more than $1 billion in revenue a year, according to company spokesman Michael Gonda.

Amount of Ownership Stake for Each Employee

The amount of ownership stake each employee will receive will depends on their tenure with the company and the role they play. Gonda would not comment on the size of individual awards.

However, the New York Times estimates that the average award could be worth $150,000 based on a $3 billion valuation of the company. For employees with the longest tenure, some awards could top even top $1 million, according to the paper.

Chobani CEO’s History of Giving Bac

This isn’t the first time that the Chobani CEO has tried to right by his employees and the less fortunate either. Ulukaya has been a vocal supporter of a higher minimum wage. He has also hired hundreds of refugees fleeing countries ravaged by terror.

Additionally, he has signed the Giving Pledge. This was created by Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates to encourage billionaires to give away much of their wealth.

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