September 14, 1962 |
Varaždin, PR Croatia, Yugoslavia
|Residence||Bridle Path, Toronto|
|Alma mater||University of Toronto|
|Occupation||Chief Executive Officer,
|Net worth||$200 million|
Robert Herjavec (born September 14, 1962) is a Croatian-born Canadian businessman, investor, and media personality.
Herjavec was born in 1962 in Varaždin, Croatia (formerly Yugoslavia), and grew up in Zbjeg. In 1970, at the age of eight, the family left the country to escape Marshal Josip Broz Tito's communist regime, which had previously incarcerated Herjavec's father for speaking out against the regime. Herjavec's family arrived Halifax with a single suitcase  and only $20. The family eventually settled in Toronto, where they lived in the basement of a family friend's home for 18 months. For Herjavec, who spoke no English, the transition proved difficult, who, having grown up on a farm and raised by his grandmother among neighbours in similar lifestyles, now found himself in a much poorer economic class than his neighbours. Herjavec's father got a job in a Mississauga factory, making $76 a week. Herjavec cites his father, whom he describes as "a really, really tough guy", as a major influence in his life. Herjavec has described a seminal memory of his, when he came home one day to complain to his mother that his classmates were making fun of him. His father who used to walk to work in order to save money on bus fare, came home, and when he heard what his son described, instructed his son "Never complain", which became a guiding principle in Herjavec's life, one which he says sparked his sense of perseverance. Another influential episode in his youth came when Herjavec's mother was persuaded by a traveling salesman to buy a vacuum cleaner for $500, which was seven weeks' salary. As a result, Herjavec swore his family would never be taken advantage of again.
In 1984, Herjavec graduated from New College at the University of Toronto, with a degree in English literature and political science. To make a living and help support his family, Herjavec took on a variety of minimum wage jobs in the 1990s, such as waiting tables, delivering newspapers, retail salesman, and collection agent.
Herjavec's first career was in film at an early age. He quickly moved behind the camera in various production roles. Herjavec worked in several productions as a 3rd AD (assistant director) including Cain and Abel and The Return of Billy Jack. His early film career culminated with the position of Field Producer of the XIV Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Hercegovina for Global TV – where he was given an honour as one of the youngest producers of Olympic coverage.
Looking for work in between productions, Herjevac applied for a position at a company called Logiquest selling IBM mainframe emulation boards. He was underqualified for the position, but convinced the company to give it to him by offering to work for free for six months. In order to pay the rent during this "free" period, Herjavec waited tables. He eventually rose in the ranks to become General Manager of Logiquest. In 1990, after being fired from Logiquest, he founded his first company, BRAK Systems, a Canadian integrator of Internet security software, from the basement of his home. BRAK Systems was sold to AT&T Canada in March 2000 for $30.2 million.
After a three-year retirement as a stay-at-home father to his three children, Herjavec founded Herjavec Group in 2003, a security solutions integrator, reseller and managed service provider, of which he is currently the CEO. Herjavec Group is one of Canada's fastest-growing technology companies and the country's largest IT security provider, according to the Branham Group. Herjavec Group (THG) has grown from three employees in 2003 to 150 employees as of 2013, with a 643% growth rate from 2007–2012 and sales from $400K in 2003 to over $125 million in 2012. The company has done over $500 million in sales. Herjavec and Herjavec Group Inc. have been the recipients of numerous entrepreneurial and business achievement awards including:
- 2012 Ernst & Young, Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Technology
- Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by Governor General of Canada – 2012 for Outstanding Service to Canada
- Profit Magazine – "Hot 50" (2006)
- Profit Magazine – #108 on the Top 100 Fastest Growing Companies for 2013
- Branham Ranking – Canada's # 1 Security Company (2012), Top 5 Fastest Growing Technology Companies (2010 to 2013), Top 100 Integrators
- Computer Dealer News – Top 25 Integrators (2011 – 2013)
- CRN – Top 500 North America’s Technology Companies (2007 – 2013), Top 50 Fastest Growing Companies (2013), Fastest growing Security company (North America – 2013)
- Profit 500 - GTA Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship
Herjavec Group made a series of acquisitions over 10 years in order to accelerate its growth
- 2005 - THG acquired Metacomm, a $10 million, Toronto-based security company
- 2006 - THG acquired SecurityLinq – a $3 million, New York-based IT integrator
- 2007 - THG acquired Sensible Security a $12 million, Ottawa-based security company that supports over 1 million nodes of end-point security with the Federal Government
- 2009 - THG acquired Cyberclix, a $16 million managed security provider with a state of the art 24 X 7 SOC (Security Operations Center) and an advanced SIEM and IPS managed security practice
- 2011 - THG acquired Zentra Technologies, a $50 million Calgary-based storage integrator which moved it into infrastructure and storage
Television and media personality
Herjavec has appeared as a regular on the CBC Television series Dragons' Den (season 1 to 6), and in America on ABC's version of the series, Shark Tank (season 1 to 6), where business pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs are heard by a panel of potential investors. Shark Tank has an estimated 7 million viewers, while Dragons Den Canada has been one of the highest rated and most watched television shows in that country. As of 2014, it is the top-rated show after Hockey Night in Canada.
Shark Tank is a reality TV series produced by Mark Burnett and owned by Sony Corporation. It is the highest rated show on Friday nights on ABC and has grown steadily over the last five seasons. The show won the 2014 Critics' Choice Award for Best Reality Series. To date the show has also won an Emmy Award, and been nominated for three others. It was nominated for Outstanding Reality Program in 2012 and 2013, losing both times. In 2014, it was nominated for two Emmy Awards, those for Outstanding Directing For Nonfiction Programming, and for Outstanding Structured Reality Program. It won the latter award. Herjavec has also won three Geminis as part of Dragon’s Den for Outstanding Reality Show in Canada.
On February 24, 2015, Herjavec was announced as one of the contestants for season 20 of the reality series Dancing with the Stars. His partner was Australian dancer Kym Johnson. On May 5, 2015, during a double elimination, Herjavec and Johnson were eliminated and finished in 6th place.
Another passion of Herjavec's is car racing, and he competes in the well-known Ferrari Challenge.  Herjavec competed as #007 for The Herjavec Group Racing team in the North American Ferrari Challenge Series, where he won the Rookie of the Year title in 2011. after winning both races at the season-opener in St. Petersburg, Florida and followed up with wins in Laguna Seca and Lime Rock, Connecticut.
Herjavec is an avid golfer and runner. He has played in the 2010 Canadian charity open sponsored by RBC at the St. George’s Golf club. He has also competed in the 2011 New York marathon and the 2010 Miami marathon. He is a certified SCUBA diver (PADI) and a motorcycle enthusiast (owning several racing Ducatis).
Herjavec is the author of two books, Driven: How to Succeed in Business and Life (2010) and The Will to Win: Leading, Competing, Succeeding (2013). Driven is organized by the work and life principles that made Herjavec both wealthy and successful, while The Will to Win delivers life lessons that promise to guide readers to greater happiness and success. "The Will to Win" is also the name of public presentations that Herjavec has given, which feature his advice to businesspeople, based on his life experiences.
Herjavec married Diane Plese in 1990. In July 2014, Herjavec separated from Plese. He and his estranged wife have two daughters, Caprice and Skye, and a son named Brendan. Herjavec also has several other vacation homes.
Herjavec owns a home in the Bridle Path, Toronto area and a large mansion in North York, Ontario that was the largest and most expensive home sold in Canada. The mansion has been host to luminaries like Michael Bublé, John Travolta, Mick Jagger, and Bono. Herjavec paid $7.5 million for the mansion, which has been featured on MTV Cribs and on Joan Rivers' TV show How'd You Get So Rich?, and the Rolling Stones' tour video.
- Weigle, Lauren (16 March 2015). "Robert Herjavec – ‘Dancing With The Stars’ 2015 Contestant". heavy.com.
- "Robert Herjavec". Virtual International Authority File. Retrieved 13 May 2015.
CIP info. (HarperCollins Canada): ‡b (Canadian; 1962-09-14)
- S., Z. (25 February 2015). "Kanadski Hrvat u 12 godina zaposlio 250 ljudi, 'težak' je 200 milijuna dolara" [Canadian in 12 years employed 250 people, 'worth' $ 200m]. CroExpress (in Croatian). Retrieved 13 May 2015.
- Nenad Bach (15 January 2010)."Robert Herjavec Croatian-born Canadian entrepreneur, businessman and TV star". Croatian World Network
- Mielach, David (26 February 2012). "'Shark Tank' Judge Herjavec on Living the American Dream". Business News Daily.
- Weigle, Lauren (March 24, 2015). "Robert Herjavec Height & Age – ‘Dancing With The Stars’ Contestant". heavy.com.
- "Robert Herjavec to Deliver Keynote Speech at CIOsynergy New York". PRWeb. 6 September 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Kopun, Francine (March 16, 2010). "Robert Herjavec: The nice Dragon". Toronto Star.
- "Robert Herjavec Success Story - Rags to Riches". Business News Daily. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "Alumni Portraits: Robert Herjavec". University of Toronto. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
- "Exceptional magazine: Americas edition, July 2013". Ernst & Young. July 2013. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
- "Robert Herjavec". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
- Feloni, Richard (7 May 2015). "'Shark Tank' investor Robert Herjavec explains how to know you should quit your job and become a full-time entrepreneur". Business Insider.
- Weigle, Lauren (5 May 2015). "'Dancing With the Stars' Contestant Robert Herjavec Net Worth". heavy.com.
- "Robert Herjavec: Top 10 tips for budding entrepreneurs". CBC News. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "Global Information Security Leader - Herjavec Group". Herjavec Group. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "Top 10 Canadian ICT Security Companies". Branham Group Inc. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "108 The Herjavec Group Inc.". Profit. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "The Diamond Jubilee Medal". Toronto: Prime Minister of Canada. 12 January 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "PROFITguide.com". Profit. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "2015 Branham300 – Canada's Top Tech Companies". Branham Group Inc. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- "CDN - Canadian VAR, reseller and IT integrator channel resources - Computer Dealer News". Computer Dealer News. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "Technology News For Solution Providers And The IT Channel - CRN". CRN. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "Information Security Is What We Do". Herjavec Group. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "A Quick Look at the Investors on 'Shark Tank'". The New York Times/The Associated Press. February 26, 2015.
- Fienberg, Dan (21 December 2013). "TV Ratings: Strong 'Shark Tank,' 'Last Man Standing' premieres lead ABC Friday". HitFix.
- Wong, Tony (March 14, 2014). "Kevin O’Leary quits the Dragon’s Den". The Hamilton Spectator.
- Moraski, Lauren (20 June 2014). "Critics' Choice TV Awards 2014 winners and highlights". CBS News.
- "2014 Creative Arts Emmy Award Winners". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. 18 August 2014.
- "AWARDS & NOMINATIONS". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Benzine, Adam (September 1, 2011). "'Dragon's Den' victorious at Geminis". Realscreen. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
- Friend, Rupert (10 September 2013). "Creative Arts Emmy Presenter List Grows". Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
- Sher, Lauren (2015-02-24). "'Dancing With the Stars' 2015: Season 20 Celebrity Cast Announced". ABC. Retrieved 2015-02-24.
- Kubicek, John (May 5, 2015). "'Dancing with the Stars' Results: A Huge Double Elimination". BuddyTV. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
- "Driver Profile: Robert Herjavec". Corse Clienti: Season 2014. Ferrari.com. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Cooper, Scott J. (1 February 2015). "Shark Tank Robert Herjavec: The Blue-Eyed Shark". World Patent Marketing.
- TheStar.com: Robert Herjavec's exotic car collection. Toronto Star/YouTube. 17 August 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Hetzel, Megan (4 March 2015). "'Shark Tank' Star Robert Herjavec Talks Running and Dancing". Runner's World.
- Rojas, Kelly (25 September 2014). "Robert Herjavec – Ambition, Speed, Instinct… Shark". Chic Metropolitan.
- Scarfone, Lucas (12 January 2012). "Herjavec Ferrari + Ducati Shoot". Scarfone Photography.
- Mac, Amber (12 November 2013). "How Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec Kills The Competition—With Kindness". Fast Company.
- "This week’s bestsellers in Canada". Toronto Star. 3 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Smith, Jordan (15 January 2015). "Robert Herjavec of 'Shark Tank' to Give Keynote Presentation at Catalyst Americas 2015". Business Wire/Yahoo! Finance.
- Dodd, Johnny (18 March 2015). "Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec: I Thought About Suicide After My Marriage Fell Apart". People. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- Steiner, Amanda Michelle (4 March 2015). "Shark Tank 's Robert Herjavec Legally Separated from Wife of 25 Years". People.
- Weigle, Lauren (16 March 2015). "Diane Plese, Robert Herjavec’s Wife – ‘Dancing With The Stars’". heavy.com.
- Bach, Nenad N. (15 January 2010). "Robert Herjavec Croatian-born Canadian entrepreneur, businessman and TV star". Crown Croatian Royal Network. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Kelly, Deirdre (12 May 2006). "The BIG white house". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- "Shark Tank Cast Members, Investors and Judges". ABC. Retrieved 6 May 2015.
- Official website
- Robert Herjavec at the Internet Movie Database
- Lagorio-Chafkin, Christine (11 June 2012). "Shark Tank's Accidental Entrepreneur: Robert Herjavec". Inc..