May 2, 2016
Full disclosure: I devour my share of Chobani Greek yogurt every week, although I don't have an ownership stake. If it goes, public, I just might buy some shares, however.
Chobani's owner, Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya, announced this week that he would be giving up 10% of the ownership of the company to employees if the company is sold or goes public. The average ownership interest for each employee -- based on present valuation -- would be $150,000, although some longtime employees could become millionaires. Currently, the company has one billion in annual sales, employs 2,000 employees and is worth 3 billion.
While ownership shares are common in the high tech industry, they're unusual in manufacturing and food production. The benefits, however, are obvious, including more productivity from workers, higher employee engagement and staving off union efforts. 
"While we work to increase all kinds of productivity from employees, 
perhaps nothing does it faster than feeling like an owner."

While we work to increase all kinds of productivity from employees, perhaps nothing does it faster than feeling like an owner. The National Center for Employee Ownership agrees. It's data suggests that there has been increasing employee ownership due to the tax benefits and retiring baby boomers.
Ulukaya's generosity has been legendary, giving 10% of the company's profits to charity and ensuring that one third of Chobani's workers are immigrants.

While there's so much talk these days about corporate greed and corruption, it's nice to report that someone is moving in the other direction.

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