Luminar CEO Austin Russell Takes Majority Stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings


In a significant move that has sent ripples through the media and automotive technology industries, 28-year-old Austin Russell, the mastermind behind Luminar Technologies Inc., has acquired an 82% stake in Forbes Global Media Holdings. The deal, which values the esteemed business magazine’s parent company at approximately $800 million, was announced by both parties on Friday. Integrated Whale Media Investments, based in Hong Kong, will retain a minority stake in the company, while the Forbes family will completely divest their holdings, although Steve Forbes will maintain his involvement. As the chief executive officer of Luminar Technologies, a prominent provider of autonomous driving technology to the automotive sector, Russell’s expertise and visionary approach make him a natural fit for Forbes. However, it is worth noting that he intends to focus on the strategic direction and branding of Forbes rather than immersing himself in day-to-day operations, as stated in the official announcement.

To further revitalize the Forbes brand and align it with the evolving media landscape, Russell plans to assemble a new board of directors comprising distinguished figures from the American media, technology, and artificial intelligence sectors. Integrated Whale Media will retain a single seat on the board, ensuring a seamless transition and continued collaboration. Forbes, established in 1917 by B.C. Forbes, a Scottish immigrant and esteemed business columnist for the Hearst newspaper chain, has long been recognized as a prominent player in the business news arena. Its acquisition by Russell, a rising star in the automotive technology realm, signifies a convergence of two influential industries.

While Forbes is a formidable competitor to Bloomberg in the business news sector, Russell’s involvement is expected to inject fresh perspectives and drive innovation within the renowned media brand. As the dust settles on this transformative acquisition, the industry eagerly awaits the unfolding chapters of Forbes under the guidance of Austin Russell, a young entrepreneur poised to make a lasting impact on both the automotive technology and media landscapes.


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