Thomas Tull

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Thomas Tull
Thomas Tull (cropped).jpg
Born (1970-06-09) June 9, 1970 (age 51)
Alma materHamilton College
OccupationFilm producer, businessman
Years active2003–present

Thomas Tull (born June 9, 1970)[2] is an American billionaire[3] businessman, entrepreneur, and film producer. He is the former chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Legendary Entertainment.[4] Tull is the founder of Tulco LLC, an investment holding company that uses artificial intelligence and other technologies to guide investing.[5][6]

Early life and education[edit]

Tull grew up in Endwell, New York, the son of a dental hygienist single mother.[7][8][9] As a youth, Tull was an athlete, playing baseball and football, earning a football scholarship.[8] Tull graduated from nearby Hamilton College in 1992.

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

After college, Tull abandoned plans to become a lawyer and instead went into business, starting a chain of laundromats. Among his innovations were different prices according to demand at different times of day. Tull went into the field of financing, buying and selling several tax and accounting offices.[8] In 2001, Tull left Interactive Technology Funds to join the Convex Group, an Atlanta-based investment group.[10][11] He later became chief of operations of Tax Services of America.[12] His firm invested in entertainment, where Tull began to learn the entertainment business. After discussing the potential of private equity with a film executive in 2003, Tull quit Convex, raising $600 million in equity to finance the production of movies under the Legendary Pictures banner.[7]

Legendary Entertainment[edit]

Tull founded Legendary Entertainment in 2005, becoming the CEO and chairman.[13] The company entered into a partnership in 2005 with Warner Bros. to jointly finance and produce films.[8] In 2009, Tull became the majority shareholder of Legendary, in a buyout of the original investors.[8] The Warner deal was followed by a similar deal with Universal Studios in 2013. He also helped produce the film Blackhat. Legendary was one of the first film production companies to use technology and data analytics to improve the way movies are marketed. Shortly after starting Legendary, Tull built a new analytics division within the company, which uses data to improve marketing decisions, in addition to other key decisions.[14][15][16]

In January 2016, Legendary was acquired by the Wanda Cultural Industry Group for $3.5 billion, with Tull retaining a 20% stake. One year later, in January 2017, Tull left the company.[17][18]

Tull describes himself as a "fanboy" of comics, and several of the films produced by Legendary were personal favorites of Tull, including Watchmen, 300, and Dark Knight.[9] Watchmen had been in "development hell" for years when Tull arranged to pick up the rights.[9] 300 had been turned down by other studios.[8] Tull also describes himself as a "gamer", and co-founded the short-lived Brash Entertainment to work on film-to-video game conversions.[7][19] Other major films include Inception, The Hangover and its sequels, Man of Steel, and others.

Tulco[edit]

In 2017 Tull founded Tulco, LLC, a Pittsburgh-based privately held holding company.[20] Tulco invests in companies in large industries and helps its portfolio companies apply technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive data analytics.[21] Among Tulco’s investments are FIGS, a healthcare apparel company,[22] and Acrisure, an insurance broker that acquired Tulco’s AI insurance business in July 2020 for $400 million.[23][24]

Other investments[edit]

Tull has also invested in a variety of other AI and data science-driven companies including Luvos,[25] Genies,[26] Oculus,[27] and Zoox.[28]

Philanthropy and board membership[edit]

Tull has donated US$1 million to Priorities USA Action, a Super PAC supporting Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.[29] He founded the Tull Family Foundation,[30] which has supported a number of causes in the youth, health, and education spaces including the National Little League,[31] a donation of $4.2 million worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 pandemic,[32] a donation to the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation towards pediatric research and art therapy programs,[33] and a grant to the University of Pittsburgh towards brain cancer research.[34]

He is a member of MIT School of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Council,[35] the board of trustees of Carnegie Mellon University, Yellowstone Forever,[36] and the Baseball Hall of Fame Board of Directors.

Personal life[edit]

He resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife and their children.[37] They previously lived in Thousand Oaks, California. In January 2018, the 33-plus-acre Thousand Oaks compound was listed for $85 million.[38]

Tull has been a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers since age four and in 2009 became a part-owner of the team.[39] He is a founder and member of the American rock and southern soul band Ghost Hounds, in which he plays guitar.[40][41]

Filmography[edit]

He was a producer in all films unless otherwise noted.

Film[edit]

Executive producer

Producer

As an actor
Year Film Role Notes
2012 The Dark Knight Rises Gotham Rogues Owner
Uncredited

Television[edit]

Year Title Credit Notes
2017−19 Make It Work Executive producer Documentary
2019 Carnival Row Co-executive producer
As an actor
Year Title Role
2017 Stranger Things Man on Street

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Forbes profile: Thomas Tull". Forbes. Retrieved May 19, 2021.
  2. ^ "Thomas Tull - Rotten Tomatoes". www.rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
  3. ^ Robehmed, Natalie (February 10, 2016). "Box Office Billionaire: How Legendary's Thomas Tull Used Comics, China And A Secret Formula To Remake Hollywood". Forbes. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
  4. ^ "CEO Thomas Tull Resigns From Godzilla, Pacific Rim's Legendary Entertainment". Anime News Network. January 18, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
  5. ^ "Billionaire Who Helped Dark Knight Rise Goes All-In on AI". Bloomberg. June 15, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  6. ^ "Michigan insurance brokerage acquires part of Tulco, Thomas Tull's Pittsburgh tech company". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. July 30, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Lippold, Kye (April 21, 2008). "Thomas Tull '92 Discusses His Journey From Hamilton to Hollywood". Hamilton College. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Garahan, Matthew (December 5, 2010). "Producer follows his own script". Financial Times.
  9. ^ a b c Brophy-Warren, Jamin (February 27, 2009). "A Producer of Superheroes". The Wall Street Journal.
  10. ^ Weisbecker, Lee (June 4, 2001). "WebMD founder lures Thomas Tull to The Convex Group". www.bizjournals.com. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  11. ^ Robehmed, Natalie. "Box Office Billionaire: How Legendary's Thomas Tull Used Comics, China And A Secret Formula To Remake Hollywood". Forbes. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  12. ^ "Executive Profile: Thomas Tull". Business Week. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.
  13. ^ "Thomas Tull Steps Down From Wanda-Owned Legendary Entertainment". Forbes. January 17, 2017. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  14. ^ "Legendary Entertainment Selling Majority Stake In Its Applied Analytics Unit". Deadline. November 13, 2017. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  15. ^ "Legendary Entertainment – Film Making in the Age of Analytics". Tuck at Dartmouth. 2017. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  16. ^ "Legendary Hires Bankers to Sell Analytics Business". Hollywood Reporter. November 13, 2017. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  17. ^ Robehmed, Natalie. "Thomas Tull Steps Down From Wanda-Owned Legendary Entertainment". Forbes. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  18. ^ "Thomas Tull resigns from Legendary Entertainment as Wanda installs interim CEO". Los Angeles Times. January 18, 2017. Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  19. ^ Fritz, Ben (October 12, 2008). "Thomas Tull resigns Brash board". Variety.
  20. ^ "Billionaire Who Helped Dark Knight Rise Goes All-In on AI". Bloomberg. June 15, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  21. ^ "Billionaire Thomas Tull to move his headquarters to Pittsburgh, become permanent resident here". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. January 11, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  22. ^ "FIGS Cleans Up With The 4th Largest Raise For A Female-Founded Company In 2017". Forbes. January 23, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  23. ^ "Acrisure Buys Tulco's AI Insurance Business in $400 Million Deal". Bloomberg. July 29, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  24. ^ "Insurance Broker Acrisure Acquires Tulco's Artificial Intelligence Insurance Business". Insurance Journal. July 29, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  25. ^ "Thomas Tull". National Museum of American History. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  26. ^ "Billionaires Jim Breyer and Thomas Tull Lead $15 Million Bet That Genies' Avatars Will Be Next Big Thing In Social". Forbes. June 11, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  27. ^ "Legendary's Thomas Tull Invests $2 Million in Chat-Bot Startup Blend". Variety. October 11, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  28. ^ Spangler, Todd (October 11, 2016). "Legendary's Thomas Tull Invests $2 Million in Chat-Bot Startup Blend". Variety. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  29. ^ Johnson, Ted (January 31, 2016). "Thomas Tull, Haim Saban Give Seven-Figure Sums to Pro-Clinton SuperPAC". Variety. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  30. ^ "Thomas and Alba Tull". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  31. ^ "Thomas Tull, Steelers part owner, headed to Little League Hall of Excellence". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. July 31, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  32. ^ "Thomas Tull, M-E grad and billionaire, donates $4.2 million to Pittsburgh hospitals". Binghamton Press. April 17, 2020. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  33. ^ "Tull Family Foundation gives $1.5 million to UPMC Children's Hospital". Pittsburgh Post Gazette. February 5, 2019. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  34. ^ Gough, Paul J. (February 16, 2021). "Tull Family Foundation's $1M grant to open neurological research center". Bizjournals.com. Retrieved March 1, 2021.
  35. ^ "Dean's Advisory Council". MIT School of Engineering. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  36. ^ "Yellowstone Forever Board of Directors". Yellowstone Forever. Retrieved April 6, 2021.
  37. ^ Sheridan, Patricia; Pitz, Marylynne. "Thomas Tull buys Glen Meakem's Edgeworth house for $15 million". Post-Gazette. Post-Gazette. Retrieved April 17, 2020.
  38. ^ Leitereg, Neal J. "Billionaire Thomas Tull lists a small village in Thousand Oaks for $85 million". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 17, 2018.
  39. ^ Labriola, Bob (April 7, 2010). "Investor profile: Thomas Tull". Pittsburgh Steelers. Archived from the original on March 15, 2014.
  40. ^ Snowden, Jordan (August 23, 2019). "A chat with Thomas Tull of Ghost Hounds". Retrieved March 14, 2021.
  41. ^ "Ghost Hounds, a band featuring Steelers part owner, will open for the Rolling Stones". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 14, 2021.

External links[edit]