Robert Earl

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For other people named Robert Earl, see Robert Earl (disambiguation).
Robert Earl
Born Robert Ian Leigh
(1951-05-29) 29 May 1951 (age 63)
Hendon, England
Occupation Owner, Planet Hollywood
Director, Everton F.C.
Spouse(s) Tricia Earl
Children Beth, Cara, Robbie

Robert Earl (29 May 1951 in Hendon), is the founder and CEO of Planet Hollywood, and the chairman of the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Early life[edit]

He was born Robert Ian Leigh,[1] the son of a Jewish entertainer. His grandfather was the head of the London Jewish Male Voice Choir. Earl grew up in Hendon and was educated at the local school, but also travelled around a great deal in the UK, Europe and the United States, following his father's career.[2]

Earl graduated from the University of Surrey with an honours degree in Hotel and Catering Management. In 2012 he set up the Robert Earl Scholarship, awarded each year to 14 students across the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, worth up to £2,500 each.[3]


Earl joined the Beef Eater chain working his way up from pot washer to the company's board.[2] In 1977 he founded President Entertainment in Miami. He sold it to Pleasurama in 1998 for $100M.[1] Joining the board, he was tasked to undertaken the purchase of Hard Rock Cafe. Becoming the brand's CEO, in five years he grew it from 7 to 22 units, until its sale to Rank Leisure.[1] He was also a director of Pelican Group PLC, with brands including Café Rouge, Dôme, and Mamma Amalfi, leaving on its sale to Whitbread PLC.[1][2]

In 1991, Earl founded Planet Hollywood,[2] negotiating celebrity investments from Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis, and partnerships including Demi Moore, and Sylvester Stallone. Earl has since bought it back from Chapter 11 bankcruptcy twice, but he still owns a large amount of stock with original investors Schwarzenegger and Willis, alongside new Asian investors. Gary Davis plans to open one in each of his Village Hotel chain.[1][2]

In June 2003, in partnership with Bay Harbour Management LC and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Earl purchased the Aladdin Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip. In 2007 it was relaunched as the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. In 2010, Earl sold the property to Caesars Entertainment, but retained the brands license.[1] In 2008, he acquired casual dining company Buca di Beppo and its chain of 88 restaurants. Turning the US chain around to profit, he licensed the brand in the UK to Gary Davis, who plans to open one in each of his Village Hotels.[1]

Everton Football Club[edit]

In October 2006, Earl became a 23% owner and director of English Premier League club Everton, buying the shareholding of Paul & Anita Gregg via his BCR Sports investment vehicle registered in the British Virgin Islands.[4][5]

Personal life[edit]

Married to his wife Tricia, the couple have three children and are resident in Miami, Florida.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Robert Ian Earl". Business Week. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Victoria Prever (1 December 2011). "Hendon to Herts via Hollywood". Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "Robert Earl Scholarship". University of Surrey. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Robert Earl". Everton F.C. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  5. ^ Ornstein, David (2006-10-21). "Planet Hollywood founder buys 23% shareholding in Everton". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 2010-05-22. 

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