Room 317-318
leadership, management & business

Rewiring Lullabot: a retrospective on the why & how of becoming employee owned

Rewiring Lullabot: a retrospective on the why & how of becoming employee owned

Lullabot, one of the earliest agencies in the Drupal community, underwent a major evolution in January 2021, becoming a 100% employee owned ESOP (Employee Owned Stock Program). ESOPs have been around since the 1970's, and as of 2022, the National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) estimates there are roughly 6,500 employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) covering almost 14 million participants in the US. Recently, Forbes contributor Mary Josephs even suggested the 2020's could be the "Decade of the ESOP".

Join members of Lullabot's executive leadership team, Seth Brown (CEO), Karen Stevenson (COO), and Kris Konrady (Director of Human Resources & Administration) as they answer questions about their recent ESOP transition. Lullabot's President, Brian Skowron, will facilitate a panel discussion where they'll try to answer:

- Why would an agency make the transition to employee ownership?
- What's involved in such a transaction?
- How did the shift in ownership match your expectations?
- How has employee ownership changed Lullabot?
- What do employees think of the ESOP?
- Any unexpected surprises along the way?
- How does employee ownership factor into Lullabot's inclusion & equity efforts?

Wherever possible, the team will share real data and real stories with visual examples. Our hope is to inspire and empower others who may be considering their own employee ownership programs.

Learning Objectives

1) At the end of this session, attendees will understand what an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) is, and what it means to be employee-owned.

2) At the end of this session, attendees will know what the tax, legal, HR, and operational considerations are for an ESOP that spans multiple countries.

3) At the end of this session, attendees will learn how being an ESOP impacts employee culture and productivity, as well as how ESOPs align with Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity efforts.


Attendees will get the most out of this session if they have a basic familiarity with company ownership models and equity. It's also helpful to understand agency operations on a basic level.


This session will be a panel featuring three fifth's of Lullabot's 5-person executive leadership team. The panel will answer questions related to their experience going from a privately held S corporation to a 100% ESOP, a process that took from 2020 through present day. This will be a lighthearted conversation focused on the process of becoming employee owned and the lessons learned along the way.