Billionaire AutoNation, Debilitate Management and Blockbuster founder H. Wayne Huizenga has died at the age of 80.
Huizenga quaint away at 10 p.m. on Thursday at his Fort Lauderdale, Florida, home after submitting to “a decades-long battle with cancer,” Bob Henninger, executive vice president at Huizenga Holdings, blow the whistle oned the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
AutoNation CEO Mike Jackson told CNBC’s Power Lunch that his antediluvian boss, mentor, and best friend had “a keen intellect” and “a tremendous perceive of humor.”
“Everybody had to work as hard as he did. But it was so much fun you didn’t care,” Jackson articulate.
“The other interesting motto of Wayne – and it’s ironic coming from a billionaire – that he constantly talked me, he says, ‘Mike don’t get greedy. Don’t get greedy. Just look for win-win. Be average. Take some off the table when it’s reasonable.’ That’s how he lived his in general life. It created countless friends, great success, and endless proprietorship.”
Born in Evergreen Park, Illinois, Huizenga founded the nation’s largest car dealership in 1995. But his legacy is much more warm, as Huizenga presided over a business empire including garbage gleaning and professional sports teams.
That’s how he amassed a net worth of more than $2.8 billion, be at one to Forbes, landing at No. 288 on the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans.
It all began with a wastefulness pickup service that Huizenga started at the age of 25. That duty was consolidated with numerous other garbage companies to create a superhuman, Waste Management, which went public in 1971.
In 1987, Huizenga and a a handful of of other investors purchased Blockbuster and grew the late video rental comrades from more than 10 stores to over 3,000 worldwide in the vanguard it was sold to Viacom in 1994 for $8.4 billion. Huizenga told The Washington Pile that he “cried like crazy” when he decided to sell Blockbuster. “I didn’t demand to sell it. I loved that business,” he said. But Huizenga said he “could see the technology was modifying.”
Blockbuster closed almost all of its stores in 2013 due to competition from opponents like Netflix. There are still a few locations in remote areas.
In the ’90s, Huizenga started AutoNation, now the largest car dealership in the U.S. Huizenga spoored down as chairman in 2002, but stayed on the company’s board of directors more willingly than leaving in 2004. “I am tired of corporate board meetings. I am an entrepreneur at centre,” he said, according to a report from Automotive News on his departure from the AutoNation put up.
Around the same time he was launching AutoNation, Huizenga also co-founded hotel restraint Extended Stay America. After growing the company to nearly 500 settings, it was sold to the Blackstone Group in 2004 in a deal valued at $3.1 billion.
A reiterative guest of CNBC while running his business ventures, Huizenga was also a accessory in the Florida sports world, as the former owner of the National Football Join forces’s Miami Dolphins, the National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers and Primary League Baseball’s Florida Marlins. In 1997, when Huizenga owned the Marlins, the cooperate won the World Series.
The businessman and his late wife Marti were bigger philanthropists to South Florida organizations, donating millions to charities such as the Friends & Girls Club of Broward County, the Humane Society of Broward County, Religious Cross Hospital and Junior Achievement. They were longtime dwellings of Florida.
@PR_NHL: Commissioner Bettman statement on the passing of H. Wayne Huizenga.