At the Moog synthesizer factory in Asheville, N.C., on Tuesday June 9th, Michael Adams, the company’s owner and chief executive, shared some potentially life-changing news with the entire Moog staff.
“I’ve sold half the company,” he announced.
“I sold it to you!”
The new employee-ownership arrangement seems to be great news for the employees at Moog, for the small company, whose financial success has not always matched its long-term critical acclaim. Moog Music, founded by Robert Moog, created one the most popular electronic musical instruments ever made, the Minimoog, still in use 4 decades after its original release!
Workers will now own 49% of the company through an employee stock ownership plan, Mr. Adams explained. He has set up a trust with no upfront costs to the employees, essentially lending the company the money to buy out his remaining 51 percent over about six years using pretax dollars, one advantage for Mr. Adams. (During his remaining time at Moog, Mr. Adams plans to devise a succession strategy.) Upon their retirement, individuals can cash out the shares they accumulated over the course of their employment.
This would seem to be a very good move for the company, as there’s so many creative individuals working at Moog, that part-ownership of the company they work for can only be a good thing, as it will push them forward into an even stronger, brighter future than they’ve already recently enjoyed, being directly responsible for it.
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