15 Jun '11, 5am

"End of an era at Timberland, one of the most socially-responsible companies in America" "Selling the company is hard"

"End of an era at Timberland, one of the most socially-responsible companies in America" "Selling the company is hard"

It’s the end of an era at Timberland , one of the most socially-responsible companies in America. Family-owned since it was started in 1953 by Nathan Swartz, the grandfather of the current ceo, Jeffrey Swartz, Timberland is being sold for $2 billion to VF Corp . VF is one of the world’s largest clothing and shoe companies; its brands include The North Face, Vans, Wrangler and JanSport. What this means for the New England company’s well-known commitment to environmental responsibility and social justice remains to be seen. Uncertain, too, is the future of Jeff Swartz , perhaps the most passionate advocate in corporate America for the idea that companies have a moral obligation not only to generate wealth for shareholders but to do good for the world. “This is hard,” says Jeff told me when we spoke yesterday. I’ve known and admired Jeff, who is 51, for about 10 years. I devo...

Full article: http://www.marcgunther.com/2011/06/14/timberlands-jeff-sw...

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