Bob Moore just turned 91—a fact that will leave your jaw on the floor when you see a video of him in action. Though he handed over the title of CEO two years ago, Moore still works full-time as president of Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, the company he founded with his now deceased wife, Charlee, in 1978.
Moore was 49 when they started the company—an inspiring example for those of us who worry it's too late to start something new in middle age. The couple channeled their love of natural foods and whole grains into a continually growing business, which has not only spelled success for the company, but for its employees as well.
Just three years into the business, Moore started a profit-sharing plan for employees. As the business grew, so did the employee pay outs.
"I wanted everyone to share in the profits of the company. It has increased paychecks by a nice amount," Moore told CNN. "I'm more proud of that than anything."
Moore has had ample opportunity to sell the business, but has always declined. In 2010, Moore's executive assistant Nancy Garner told Oregon Live that buyout offers were coming in almost daily, but Moore wanted nothing to do with them, preferring to transfer the company's value straight to his employees.
"These people are far too good at their jobs for me to just sell it," said Moore.
Moore's says his treatment of employees comes straight from the so-called Golden Rule in the Bible—"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." As an employee, he told CNN, he would want a stake in the company. That's why he created an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), which holds stocks in a trust for employees rather than putting them out to be bought and sold. He officially handed full ownership of Bob's Red Mill to workers in 2010.
Any employee with at least three years tenure is fully vested in the program and will receive their stake in cash five years after they quit or when they retire. Moore keeps the company's value private, but public data shows it has grown substantially in the past two decades. Employee count has tripled since 2010, and the company confirmed to CNN that it did more than $50 million in revenue in 2018. Another 2018 estimate put Bob's Red Mill at more than $100 million in revenue. Either amount means a handsome payout for Moore's 600+ employees.
"This is Bob taking care of us," employee Lori Sobelson told Oregon Live. "He expects a lot out of us, but really gives us the world in return."
While we would all love to have a boss like Bob Moore, most of us would also love to have his sharp mind and youthful energy at his age. Check out this video of him at 90 years old talking about his company, and be prepared to make him your new #aginggoals icon.
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