Peter Lord and David Sproxton, co-founders and co-owners of Aardman Animations in Bristol, England, have decided to turn their company into an employee-owned business after an announcement on Saturday, November 10.
Founded more than 46 years ago in 1972, Aardman Animations made successful and award-winning films such as Wallace and Gromit, Flushed Away, Chicken Run, Early Man, and Shaun the Sheep. The company’s co-founders and co-owners are transferring over a 75% stake in the movie production business to their 140 employees in an effort to protect the company’s independence from potential buyers in the age of media and entertainment mergers as well as oligopolies.
An employee-owned business or company is a particular type of company in which individual companies provide stock and interest ownership to its employees. Employee-owned companies in the United States include Publix Super Markets, WinCo Foods, Schreiber Foods, and North State Grocery. Since employees have some form of stock ownership, ESOPs or any other form of employee-owned businesses or companies are know to increase wages and benefits as well as labor production productivity.
Other alternative business models such as worker co-determination where workers are appointed to corporate boards, worker cooperatives where workers democratically control the companies they work for, and direct election of a board of directors as well gender quotas on corporate boards could curb economic inequalities.
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