Michael G. Rubin
|Michael G. Rubin|
|Born||1972 (age 44–45)|
|Occupation||Founder of GSI Commerce and
|Known for||Founding GSI Commerce (1998) and Kynetic (2012)|
|Net worth||US$ 2.7 billion|
|Spouse(s)||Meegan Rubin (divorced)|
Michael G. Rubin (born 1972) is an American businessman. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Kynetic, a direct-to-consumer e-commerce company he founded in 2011. He is also Executive Chairman at each of Kynetic’s three businesses: Fanatics, the world’s leading online seller of licensed sports merchandise; Rue La La, a flash sales site; and ShopRunner, a members-only service for online shoppers. He previously founded GSI Commerce in 1998, selling it to eBay in 2011 for $2.4 billion.
Early life and education
Rubin was born to a Jewish family, the son of Paulette and Ken Rubin. His mother is a psychiatrist and his father a veterinarian. He grew up in Lafayette Hill, PA where he started a ski-tuning shop in his parents’ basement when he was 12 and two years later - using $2,500 in bar mitzvah gifts as seed capital and a lease signed by his father - he opened a formal ski shop in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.
By the age of 16, he was some $200,000 in debt and was able to settle with his creditors using a $37,000 loan from his father under the condition he attend college. Rubin agreed, continuing to operate the business, which grew to five ski shops before he entered college. He attended Villanova University for a semester before dropping out after realizing a large gain on an opportunistic transaction (buying $200,000 in overstock equipment at a deep discount with $17,000 borrowed from a friend and re-selling it for $75,000).
Using the proceeds from his serendipitous overstock transaction and after selling his ski shops, he went on to found the athletic equipment closeout company KPR sports - named after his parents initials - which bought and sold over-stock name brand merchandise. In 1993, the year Rubin turned 21, KPR reached $1 million in annual sales; by 1995, KPR reached $50 million in sales. In 1995, Rubin purchased 40% of the women's athletic shoe manufacturer Ryka.
In 1998, Rubin created Global Sports, which would later turn into GSI Commerce, a multibillion-dollar e-commerce company. At 38, Rubin sold his company GSI Commerce to eBay for $2.4 billion reaping a $150 million windfall. As eBay just wanted the order fulfillment business for large retailers so it could better compete with Amazon.com, Rubin was able to buy back the consumer businesses of GSI at a fire sale price. He repurchased: Fanatics, Inc., a licensed sports merchandiser; Rue La La, a flash seller, and Shop Runner, a retail benefits program, merging the three companies into a new entity named Kynetic. Rubin serves as executive chairman on each of his three companies’ boards.
Philadelphia 76ers and NJ Devils ownership
In October 2011, Rubin bought a minority share in the Philadelphia 76ers. Rubin is a member of the investment group that won a $280 million bid for the team. The other members of the investment group include Joshua Harris of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, portfolio manager Art Wrubel, former Sacramento Kings executive Jason Levien, former Vail Resorts CEO Adam Aron, Martin Geller, David Heller, Travis Hennings, James Lassiter, David S. Blitzer, Will Smith & Jada Pinkett Smith, and Indonesian businessmen Handy Soetedjo & Erick Thohir. Comcast-Spectacor began talks with the investment group in the summer of 2011. The deal was announced on July 13, 2011. The NBA formally approved the deal on October 13, 2011.
Two years later, as a member of the same investment group, Rubin bought a share in the New Jersey Devils hockey team and management of the Prudential Center for $320 million. The deal was approved by the NHL and announced August 15, 2013.
In 2010, he appeared in the premiere season of the CBS television show Undercover Boss, where he worked undercover in GSI Commerce's warehouse and call center. Once his identity was revealed at the end of the show, he gave an employee, who had recently struggled with the death of a baby, $10,000 so he and the baby’s mother could have a dream wedding.
Rubin was honored by the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) at its Philadelphia Visionary Gala in 2011 for representing ”the true spirit and determination of an entrepreneur” and serving as an inspiration to NFTE students.
An avid sports fan since his youth, Rubin lives in the Philadelphia area, near where he grew up. Rubin is divorced from local dance teacher Meegan Rubin. They have one daughter. Since 2011, he lives with his girlfriend, CNN and CNBC anchor Nicole Lapin.
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