These seven titans of industry are household names, but they’ve worked hard to bring along the next generation of leaders – their children. In each company, father CEOs have worked closely with sons or daughters, and in turn, the children have often eclipsed their fathers’ success.
1. Edward “Ned” Johnson III/Abigail Johnson: Fidelity Investments
Fidelity Investments was founded by Ned Johnson’s father, Edward Johnson II, in 1946 and has grown to become one of the world’s largest investment firms. While Ned Johnson remains chairman of the board at Fidelity, daughter Abigail, 53, was named president and CEO in 2014. She rose through the ranks at Fidelity like her father, starting as an analyst in 1988 after earning an MBA at Harvard Business School, and was promoted to an executive role in 1997. While Ned was more of a risk-taker, his daughter is more pragmatic, wanting to see an opportunity from every angle before making a decision. Financially, Abigail has already eclipsed her dad in net worth; he is currently listed as the 63rd richest person on the Forbes list of the 400 Richest Americans, with $7.4 billion, and she is 35th, with $13.3 billion.
2. Paul Newman/Nell Newman: Newman’s Own
Newman’s Own began as a partnership between actor Paul Newman and his author-friend A.E. Hotchner, who each put up $20,000 to establish the venture after the homemade salad dressing bottles they sent to friends and family one Christmas were a big hit. The duo then expanded into other products, such as spaghetti sauce, popcorn, and beverages. The goal of commercializing the products was to generate income that would be then donated to various charities. In 1993, Newman’s daughter, Nell, created a new division of the company, named Newman’s Own Organics, which marketed only food products created from organic ingredients. In 2001, the division was spun off as its own company, which Nell now runs. She and her dad, who died in 2008, are featured prominently together in company marketing materials.
3. Donald Trump/Ivanka Trump: The Trump Organization
Ivanka Trump, 34, speaks with the same pace and inflections as her father, businessman Donald Trump, according to Leno and Letterman. It’s no surprise that Ivanka sounds a lot like her old man, since she is the executive vice president of development and acquisitions at The Trump Organization and works closely with her famous father. Donald Trump, a.k.a. The Donald, is of course the self-made real estate magnate and host of the TV show The Celebrity Apprentice. He rose to fame through savvy Manhattan real estate purchases and turnarounds of bankrupt property. His older sons, Donald Jr. and Eric, also work closely with him in The Trump Organization and in the Trump Hotel Collection, a portfolio of luxury hotels and amenities. Donald is worth an estimated $4 billion, while Ivanka can boast an impressive $150 million, in part due to the jewelry line she designed and launched.
4. Carl Icahn/Brett Icahn: Icahn Enterprises
Known primarily as a corporate raider, Carl Icahn began his career as a Wall Street stockbroker. He founded Icahn & Co. in 1968 and, through the years, began to take controlling interests in public companies. His most famous was the hostile takeover of TWA in 1985, which he then split up and sold off for parts. Identifying undervalued companies relative to their stock price is how Icahn built his empire. Carl is now personally worth an estimated $20 billion. His son, Brett Icahn, 35, joined his father’s business in 2002 as an investment analyst and now holds a number of positions in many of Carl Icahn’s ventures. In 2011, the hedge fund Brett runs with business partner David Schechter earned a 50% return, so in 2012, Carl gave Brett $3 billion to manage.
5. Rupert Murdoch/James Murdoch: News Corp.
The two Adelaide, Australia, newspapers that Rupert Murdoch inherited at age 22 became the foundation of a media conglomerate that now includes 120 publications – including the Wall Street Journal – a cable network that includes the Fox channels, publishing company HarperCollins, and 21st Century Fox movie studio. He is worth more than $13 billion. And he has long taken steps to install his son James in key management positions in his companies. Younger son James, 43, is currently chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox. James is credited with interesting his father in the Internet, and took over News Corp.’s internet operations in 1996. Both Murdochs were implicated in the illegal phone-hacking scandal at the British News of the World, which was ultimately shut down. No hard feelings though, apparently, as James recently paid $30 million to buy his dad’s old Beverly Hills home.
6. Warren Buffett/Howard Buffett: Berkshire Hathaway
Called the most successful investor of the 20th century, Warren Buffett is the creator of Berkshire Hathaway, a diversified holding company consisting of businesses in a wide variety of industries. Shares in the company, currently valued at more than $200,000, are the most expensive of any public Class A stock. While Warren has been managing his many holdings, his son and heir apparent, Howard Graham Buffett, 60, has been working as a farmer, a philanthropist, and a volunteer deputy sheriff, as well as a former executive. When his father dies, Howard “Howie” Buffett has been tapped to serve in a non-executive role as head of the enterprise. In other words, he will not make decisions about company management, but will ensure the culture and values of Berkshire Hathaway remain strong.
7. Ralph Roberts/Brian Roberts: Comcast
Ralph Roberts’ purchase of a 1,200-subscriber cable television system in Tupelo, Miss., in 1963 was the start of Comcast Corporation, which is now the country’s largest video, high-speed internet, and phone provider. Now founder and chairman emeritus of the board at the company he founded, Ralph, age 95, is more active in community service, while son Brian Roberts has taken the helm as chairman and CEO. He joined Comcast right after college and was later named president in 1990, when the company’s revenues were $657 million. They have since grown more than ten times that amount.