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For many dads, the greatest Father's Day gift imaginable is the sight of a son or daughter working beside him in the family business. It offers the same satisfaction as helping a child get a leg up in life, bit it also offers the tempting possibility of the family business surviving after dad retires. This holds true whether the business is a feed store, a bait and tackle shop, or a multinational conglomerate.
Click ahead and see the CEO dads whose kids hold executive positions in their companies.
By Daniel Bukszpan
Posted 17 June 2011
Edward Johnson III is the CEO of Fidelity Investments, a US financial services company founded in 1949 by his father, Edward Johnson II. A Harvard graduate and army veteran, Edward Johnson III went to work for Fidelity in 1957 as a research analyst and rose through the ranks to the position of CEO in 1977. He’s still there today, and according to Forbes, his net worth as of March 2011 is $7.1 billion.
Johnson's daughter, Abigail Johnson, is the company's president. She joined in 1988 as an equity portfolio manager after getting her MBA from Harvard Business School, and in 1997 she was promoted to her first executive position within the company. Today, she sits on the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation and holds 24% of Fidelity’s shares. She also has a higher net worth than her father, which is $11.3 billion as of September 2010.
Rupert Murdoch is the chairman and CEO of News Corporation. Born in Australia, he began his media career by purchasing an Adelaide newspaper, then acquiring or starting other publications in other territories. By 1986 he had created the Fox Broadcasting Company in the US, and the venture into the US market worked out well for him to say the least. Today, News Corporation is the third largest media conglomerate on earth, and his net worth is $6.3 billion as of 2010.
Murdoch's son James was born in London in 1972. He dropped out of college and helped found the hip hop label Rawkus Records, and it was not at all certain that he would follow in his father’s footsteps. However, he eventually went into the family business, and following a stint as executive vice president, he sits on the board of directors of News Corporation today.
Lee Kun-hee is the CEO of the Samsung Group, a South Korean corporation best known as the parent company of Samsung Electronics. He resigned in 2008 in the wake of a slush fund scandal, but he drew only a three-year suspended sentence, allowing him to return to Samsung in 2010 as its chairman.
Kun-hee placed two of his children in executive positions. His son, Lee Jae-yong, became president and Chief Operating Officer of Samsung Electronics in 2010, and his daughter, Lee Boo-jin is president of the Samsung Everland theme park. According to Kelly Olsen of the Associated Press, the theme park is "widely seen as the de facto holding company for the conglomerate."
Daniel Amos is chairman and chief executive officer of Aflac, a supplemental insurance provider co-founded in 1955 by his father Paul with his two brothers, John and Bill. Daniel Amos joined the company in 1973 as regional sales director, and by 1990 he had achieved the rank of CEO. Despite these considerable achievements, he is unlikely to ever be as well-known as the talking duck that has quacked the company’s name in television commercials since 2000.
Aflac remains an Amos family company, as demonstrated by the fact that Daniel's son, Paul Amos II, serves as its president. Paul II is only in his mid-30s, but he’s already demonstrated considerable business acumen, leading the company to almost $17 billion in sales in 2008. He appeared on Fortune magazine’s 2009 list of the highest paid executives under 40 on the basis of his 2008 compensation of $2.41 million.
Bruce Nordstrom is the former chairman and CEO of the US department store chain Nordstrom, Inc. He is a member of the third consecutive generation of his family to control the chain, and he has actually given up leadership of the company not once but twice, first retiring in 1997 to make room for John Whitacre. However, the new CEO's attempts to modernize the chain and appeal to a younger demographic failed, and in 2000 he was ousted from the organization, allowing Bruce Nordstrom to have his old job back.
His sons, Blake, Erik and Peter, all took senior positions in the company when the family took back control, with Blake serving as president and controlling the day-to-day operations of the chain. Once the family returned to executive leadership, the store’s fortunes improved considerably, and it had its most profitable year on record in 2003, with record revenues of $6.5 billion.
Bernard Arnault is chairman and CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton S.A., the world’s largest fashion and luxury goods organization. Those who appreciate the finer things in life have probably bought a few of LVMH’s brands, such as Dom Perignon, Veuve Clicquot, Fendi or Marc Jacobs, and in March 2011, the company acquired half of the shares of Italian jeweler Bulgari, with the intent of buying the remaining, publicly owned half, a transaction said to be worth over $5 billion. As of March 2011, Arnault himself is worth $41 billion.
Arnault’s daughter, Delphine, sits on LVMH’s board of directors, the only woman ever to do so. She is a tabloid fixture in her native France, where she is sometimes referred to as “Napoleon of the luxury product business” and “the wolf in a cashmere coat.” In 2007 she was featured in Forbes magazine’s “Hottest Billionaire Heiresses” list, coming in at a respectable #8.
Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation is the namesake company of US fashion legend Ralph Lauren. He started the Polo brand in 1968 as a line of neckties, and by 1971 he had a full clothing lines for men and women and his own store in Beverly Hills. The company went global in 1981 with the opening of a store in London, and in 1997 it went public. Ten years later, the company reported revenues of over $4 billion.
In 2002, Lauren’s son David bluntly stated, "I never wanted to work for my father," and he tried to make his way by launching Swing magazine, a lifestyle publication for Gen-Xers. The magazine shut its doors after five years, and David used the opportunity to help his father set up Polo.com. He's been at the company ever since, and today he's the senior vice president of advertising, corporate communications and marketing.
Donald Trump is CEO of the Trump Organization, which owns and operates real estate, resorts, golf courses and casinos all over the world, and also co-owns the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants with NBC. He has also become a household name thanks to his reality show, The Apprentice, as well as his brief stint as a prospective presidential candidate in early 2011.
Three of Trump’s children hold positions as executive vice presidents within his organization. Donald Trump, Jr., born in 1977, worked on such projects as the West Side Yards in Manhattan and Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago. His sister, Ivanka, is executive vice president of development and acquisitions and younger brother Eric is executive vice president of real estate development and mergers and acquisitions.
Lakshmi Mittal is chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal S.A., the world’s largest steelmaking company. Headquartered in Luxembourg, it ranks at number 99 on the 2010 Fortune Global 500 list, thanks to annual revenues of over $65 billion. Mittal is the richest man in the UK and the sixth richest in the world, with a net worth of over $31 billion.
Mittal’s two children have both taken their places alongside him in the family business. His son Aditya is chief financial officer and oversees mergers and acquisitions, investor relations and strategy and communications. He coordinated the 2006 merger between Mittal Steel and Arcelor which resulted in the merged company ArcelorMittal. His sister Vanisha joined the company in 2004 and is a director at ArcelorMittal, as well as its holding company, LNM Holdings.
Stanley Ho is the former CEO and current executive chairman of Shun Tak Holdings Limited, a company that he founded in 1972. Its shipping business, TurboJET, operates the ferry that runs between Hong Kong and Macau. This is convenient, as Stanley "The King of Gambling" Ho has been the owner of a government-granted monopoly over Macau’s gambling industry for four decades.
His daughter, Pansy Ho, is managing director of the company. She owns 29% of the MGM Grand Macau, but was barred from pursuing a partnership with the MGM Mirage after a 2010 lawsuit. She originally studied business and marketing at Santa Clara University and had a brief career as an actress on Hong Kong television after graduating.