Is Lowe’s Black Owned?

This blog post explores whether Lowe’s is black-owned and how many black people work at Lowes. There are some surprising answers that may make you rethink where your next purchase should go!

So is Lowe’s black owned? Lowe’s is not black owned. The current CEO of Lowe’s is Marvin Ellison, who is an African American man. However, since Lowe’s is a private company, it is owned by a huge range of people.

Black Owned

Black-owned businesses are, unfortunately, few and far between when the conversation turns to big-name retailers, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to find out that a household brand is owned and run by African Americans.

Today, we’re going to explore whether or not Lowe’s is black owned.

Over the course of this guide, we’re going to discuss who owns Lowe’s, which is a public company, and whether or not you could potentially classify the company as black owned. We’ll also discuss who Marvin Ellison is and go into a bit more of Lowe’s history.

Is Lowe’s Black Owned?

In the strictest sense of the word, Lowe’s may not be black owned because a majority of the owners of the company are not black. We’ll go into further detail about Lowe’s public ownership later on, but there is an argument to be made that Lowe’s is black owned, so the rumors you’ve heard may not be wrong.

This is all due to Marvin Ellison, who has steadily risen through the ranks as an executive at Lowe’s to become the company’s CEO. While the CEO may not be the owner of the company, he is the one who directs the company, and to some extent, decides its future, and this is an impressive achievement when you consider the rarity of black CEOs in major American companies.

At the end of the day, whether or not Lowe’s is black owned is up to how you would define a company’s ownership. While the owners of this company may not strictly be black, the most important executive is, and that certainly counts in our book.

Who Currently Owns Lowe’s?

Largest Shareholder

Determining the largest shareholder of Lowe’s is one of the easiest ways to figure out who owns the company because the largest shareholder typically has the controlling stake in a company. This is why it’s often a little harder to determine if a public company like Lowe’s is black owned.

The top shareholder is The Vanguard Group INC with an 8.6% share in the company. The Vanguard Group INC is an investment management company that is run by Mortimer J Buckley.

If you’d consider him the de facto owner of Lowe’s, then the company wouldn’t be black-owned because Buckley is an older caucasian man.

You’d be right to think that such a small percentage doesn’t sound like a controlling interest, but it’s the largest one that any single investor has. In fact, if you were to add together the 25 top shareholders they would still not possess 50% of the company’s stock.

Insider ownership

Insider ownership typically refers to the company’s board members and management. Despite collectively owning less than 1% of Lowe’s, these board members tend to make decisions that have significant ramifications on the future of Lowe’s, and some of them are African American.

Two members of the Lowes board of directors are black, to be precise. These are Marvin Ellison (the company’s CEO) and Bertram Scott.

Public Ownership

In America, a public company means that its shares are sold on the stock exchange. These shares are publicly available for anyone to buy, meaning that anyone can purchase a stake in Lowe’s. Currently, 21% of the company is owned by members of the public. 

There is no doubt that at least some of this 21% is made up of African American individuals, which once again means that the matter of the company’s black ownership is up to interpretation.

Why Support a Black-Owned Business?

Many people base their shopping choices on convenience or pricing but a growing number of people want to know the ethics of the company they are supporting. Whether you go in for buckets, tools, plants, or construction materials, your dollar shows your support for Lowe’s. 

When you choose to support a black owned company, you encourage the survival of black entrepreneurship. You help businesses survive in a world that fights against them. You enhance their ability to give others the opportunities that they had been denied so many times before. 

Who Is Marvin Ellison?

Marvin Ellison is a success story if we’ve ever heard one. Mr. Ellison has grown from a boy in a small Southern community to a board member of one of the largest companies in America.

Mr. Ellison has a renewed vision for Lowe’s, in the form of increasing racial diversity and a focus on the aptitude of employees over the color of their skin. This has extended beyond the individual store level to even the executive levels of the company.

Perhaps the most significant factor that would point to Lowe’s being black owned is the fact that he is the CEO of Lowe’s and has been since 2018. When he took the position of CEO he was one of only four black men with the position in any Fortune 500 company.

Throughout the history of the Fortune 500, there are estimated to have only been about 19 black CEOs from a total of about 1800 positions.

Lowe’s Founder And Owner History

In 1921 Lowe’s was founded by Lucius Smith Lowe. With the outbreak of World War II, in 1940 Lowe’s son Jim Lowe took ownership and offered a part of the business to his brother-in-law Carl Buchan. Just two years later, Carl Buchan became the sole owner, though he kept the Lowe’s name.

By 1961, Mr. Buchan passed away and the company was left in the hands of his five executives. It was at this point that Lowe’s went public. Since then, the company has experienced astronomical growth, becoming one of the most successful hardware store chains in the United States.