Eileen Fisher founded the eponymous US clothing company in 1984, by 1996 she was considering how to protect the company’s future. Over the next decade she rejected an IPO and a merger with a larger company realising all that was discussed were the figures not the products or the people, and usually by men in grey suits.
By 2005 she had found the answer she was looking for, an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP), the US version of employee ownership. 40% of the shares in the company are held for the staff in a trust.
Trading in 60 countries, including the UK, the company continues to thrive, and Eileen to work on her mission of a world where business is a force for good, as laid out in the company’s Vision 2020. Not planning to retire any time soon Eileen has become a standard-bearer for employee ownership in the USA.
If you would like to explore how employee ownership might be introduced in your company, please contact us for an initial discussion.
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