An Inside Look at How Koch Industries Does Business

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Media Outlet: The Washington Post

Chris Leonard wrote an article for the Washington Post about how Koch Industries runs its businesses:

Charles and David Koch are best known for their controversial political empire, where they ply their combined personal fortunes of nearly $96 billion into conservative causes and candidates across the nation.

They’re less known for the business empire that’s enabled that wealth: Koch Industries. One of the United States’ biggest companies — whose annual revenue of $100 billion is more than that of Goldman Sachs, Starbucks and Honeywell International combined — Koch owns brands that are fixtures of American households, such as Brawny paper towels and Lycra. But because it’s privately held, how it has grown so big has remained something of a mystery.

A year-long look into Koch Industries’ $21 billion purchase of wood and paper giant Georgia-Pacific, involving interviews with Georgia-Pacific employees from the factory floor to the executive suite, offers a rare view into how the brothers run their businesses. The company’s approach, examined for a forthcoming book, aligns with the brothers’ brand of economic conservativism, which stresses the power of the market and skepticism of government. At times, its approach is at tension with their philosophy.

Author:

Christopher Leonard was a New America Fellow, writing a book about Koch Industries. He is the author of The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business.