Robert L. Johnson
Majority Owner > Charlotte Bobcats
Robert L. Johnson is the founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that provides strategic investment and direction in and for a diverse portfolio of companies.
Under The RLJ Companies umbrella, Johnson owns or holds interests in businesses operating in banking, financial services, real estate, hospitality, entertainment, professional sports, film production and gaming. RLJ Development acquires and develops upscale hotels, including Hilton and Marriott branded hotels in major North American urban markets. RLJ Urban Lodging Funds I and II acquire and develop upscale service hotels and compact full-service hotels in urban markets (122 hotels with a value of more than $3 billion to date).
RLJ Asset Management Group includes RLJ Select Investments, a hedge fund that provides investment products and services to public and private pension funds, and RLJ Equity Partners, a private-equity fund that makes expansion and buy-out investments in the media and business services sectors.
The RLJ Companies also includes Urban Trust Bank, which provides banking for consumers in urban areas; Urban Trust Education Finance, a student loan company that emphasizes urban-based consumers; Rollover Systems, a financial services company specializing in outsourced retirement plan rollover services; and Bobcats Sports and Entertainment, the NBA franchise and arena operations in Charlotte, N.C. The Bobcats are the first major sports franchise owned by an African-American.
In addition, Johnsonís investments include Casino and Gaming Entertainment (C.A.G.E.), a video lottery gaming company operating throughout the Caribbean, and Our Stories Films, formed in partnership with The Weinstein Company. Our Stories Films, which will produce urban comedies and family dramas, is the only studio that currently provides green light authority to an African-American.
Prior to forming The RLJ Companies, Johnson was founder and chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), the nationís first and leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African-American audience. Johnson, who sold BET to Viacom for approximately $3 billion in 2000, remained the chief executive officer through 2005.
Johnson, who serves on the boards of several major corporations, is the winner of numerous honors, including selection to Broadcasting & Cable magazineís ďHall of FameĒ and the Cable Television Hall of Fame. He earned his bachelorís degree from Illinois and his masterís degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton.