William Gadea, founder and creative director of Manhattan-based animation studio IdeaRocket, announced that he has established an employee ownership plan designed to eventually turn over 100% of the company to them.
“The objective of the plan,” stated Gadea, “is to reward the employees who have made IdeaRocket the company that it is today. It is also to incentivize employees to help make IdeaRocket an even better company by giving them a real stake in it.”
Gadea added that employee ownership is a legitimate and interesting exit strategy for entrepreneurs. He also hopes that the plan will help his company attract the best talent going forward.
Over the next 10 years Gadea foresees giving away a third of the company to employees, and then having them buy out the remaining two-thirds after he retires. “I hope it will allow me to sell my company to people that I know will care for it and sustain it.”
According to Corey Rosen, founder of the National Center for Employee Ownership, a private nonprofit, decades of research have shown that sharing ownership widely with employees is a much better way to improve corporate performance than just making a few top employees owners.
“Employee ownership also adds substantially to employee financial security,” said Rosen. “At a time when economic inequality is a major issue in the U.S. and other countries, employee ownership has proven to be a market-based solution that works for everyone.”