How 100% Employee Ownership Changed Our Attitude
Since a 1991 buyout from a Fortune 500 company, the employee-owners of Chatsworth Products (CPI) have helped the company achieve phenomenal growth, unattainable under prior ownership.
Despite being a profitable and respected business unit of the parent organisation, CPI's specialised product line no longer fit the corporation's core business strategy. Targeted for divestiture, employees were given an opportunity to purchase the business unit, setting the wheels in motion that would ultimately result in a 100 percent employee-owned company. The success the company enjoys today comes from a realised pride in ownership.
Employee ownership was the logical choice for the staff of CPI because involvement in the overall destiny of the company was in place at every level from the beginning. Employee-owners today speak with justifiable pride about the role they play in the present and future success of the company.
Through its Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) structure, all employees of CPI become beneficial owners. Such ownership, combined with CPI's inclusive and participatory culture, motivates employees to think and act like owners, creating a strong commitment to the attainment of an ultimate and core purpose: delighting the customer.
CPI adapted to employee ownership with such ease that just two years after inception, the California Chapter of the ESOP Association recognised CPI as the ESOP Company of the Year. CPI was again so honoured in 2008.
As CPI prepares to enter its third decade as an ESOP company, we reflect with a sense of gratitude and pride at the success and growth we have experienced during our first two decades. Fuelled by employee ownership, we have grown from a single location serving the domestic U.S. market to a global company serving multi-national and international customers from locations in Westlake Village and Chatsworth, Calif; Georgetown, Texas; New Bern, N.C.; Mexico City, Mexico, Buckinghamshire, England; Pudong, Shanghai, China; and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
At CPI, our continued success is directly attributed to the effort put forth by each and every employee-owner. Our pride of ownership and the mutual trust and respect we feel for one another is reflected in the company's motto: We're All in This Together.