About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use DMCA Opt-out of personalized ads
© Copyright 2023 Market Realist. Market Realist is a registered trademark. All Rights Reserved. People may receive compensation for some links to products and services on this website. Offers may be subject to change without notice.

The Reason why the Founder of Bob's Red Mill Left Ownership of His Firm to 700 Employees

Bob Moore, founder of Bob's Red Mill, died at age 94 on Saturday.
Cover Image Source: Savory rolls with tomato jam | Instagram | @bobsredmill
Cover Image Source: Savory rolls with tomato jam | Instagram | @bobsredmill

Entrepreneurs who make a name through their successful businesses, are often remembered for bold steps towards giving back to society, be it in the form of charity or policies towards the workforce that reshape the industry. One of such individuals is Bob Moore, the visionary founder of Bob's Red Mill, who passed away at the age of 94. But following his death, the company underwent a significant transformation in ownership, and it now belongs entirely to its 700 employees. This revelation ignited nationwide debate, as people tried to make sense of Moore's decision to transfer ownership to his workforce instead of selling the company to a food industry giant.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Bob's Red Mill (@bobsredmill)


Alongside his wife, Charlee, Moore established the natural food company in Oregon in 1978, with an aim to provide wholesome food to people worldwide while ensuring the financial security of their employees. Over the decades, the company grew into a global powerhouse, with a product line exceeding 200 items and a presence in over 70 countries, generating annual revenues surpassing $100 million.

Despite numerous lucrative offers from corporate giants eager to acquire the company, Moore remained steadfast in his commitment to his employees and their collective future.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Bob's Red Mill (@bobsredmill)


In 2010, Moore created an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP), granting ownership of the company to its workforce. By April 2020, Bob's Red Mill had transitioned to being 100% employee-owned, marking a revolutionary departure from conventional corporate structures.

The founder's decision to embrace the ESOP model was driven by his values, rooted in both his Christian faith and a profound sense of fairness. "The Bible says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. And so there's an element of how you treat people that impressed me. And sharing in the profit, and sharing in the company to make things more fair and more benevolent impressed me, and I felt strongly about it," he had once stated.


Initially, Bob's Red Mill implemented profit-sharing initiatives to reward employees for their contributions. However, after extensive deliberation, Moore recognized the ESOP model as the most equitable and sustainable means of realizing his vision.

Over time, ownership of the company gradually transitioned into the hands of its dedicated workforce, affirming his belief in the transformative power of collective effort and shared success. "The more everyone organizes and works hard, the greater the profitability of the company, and that translates into higher value of ownership," he had said in an interview last year.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Heather | Fit Mama Real Food (@fitmamarealfood)


"Businesspeople continually reach out to me, interested in buying my company, like they're doing me a great favor. They thought I was just a lame-brained idiot because I didn't want to sell my company. They told me how stupid I was, but you can't build what I've built and be really stupid," he had said.

Moore rejected the notion that profit maximization should come at the expense of employee well-being, advocating instead for a business ethos grounded in respect, transparency, and empowerment. Despite facing pressure to sell his company, he remained resolute in his conviction.

His visionary approach has not only secured the company's future but also inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs to prioritize people over profits and pave the way for a more equitable and sustainable future.