January 20, 2020

Presidential Candidate Deval Patrick Endorses Employee Ownership

Deval Patrick, the former governor of Massachusetts and the latest entrant into the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, released his Opportunity Agenda on January 16. In it, he proposed several steps to promote employee ownership:


Achieve Significant Employee Ownership and Wealth Creation by 2050. The federal government can play a leading role in supporting new corporate forms and business models that are built around partial or full employee ownership through existing economic development agencies and new programs within those agencies created specifically to encourage employee-ownership.

  • I would immediately direct the Commerce and Treasury Departments to remove every barrier to employee ownership, and I would form a new head of employee ownership within my administration to oversee these efforts, including proposing and enacting the appropriate promotions, incentives, and changes required to make employee ownership as viable and attractive as possible.
  • Through these and other mechanisms, my administration would put our economy on-track to significant employee ownership by 2050, such that the prosperity of our corporations and our employees went hand-in-hand. I would target a significant portion of the equity-value of our corporations to be held by employees outside of the executive suite.

Ensure Ownership Comes with True Leadership, Governance, and Control. As employees gain a significant stake in our corporations, we will ensure that this financial stake comes along with the leadership, governance, and control of our corporations that it deserves. Employees will be able to vote for who represents them on their board of directors, on key shareholder proposals, and on the strategic direction of their companies. Through this transition, we will make sure that employees are equipped with the training, information, and processes they need to be prudent stewards of their corporations.