John Malone might not have the name recognition of Rupert Murdoch, but he has arguably done more to influence the media landscapes in the U.S. and Europe than the Fox News owner.
Contemporaries recognize him as a forward-thinking professional with a deep understanding of technology, management, and negotiations.
How has Malone become one of the most influential telecom professionals and business dealers in the world? His path to fortune has taken plenty of twists and turns as he always follows his passion instead of giving in to industry trends.
What Did John Malone Do?
Of all the things John Malone has done in his professional life, he is perhaps best known for growing Tele-Communications Inc through a lengthy number of mergers and acquisitions.
He made the company so attractive that he was able to negotiate a near $50 billion sale to AT&T. Even through the sale, he managed to retain majority ownership of the subsidiary Liberty Media. Under his leadership at TCI, it became the second-largest cable company (only Time Warner had more subscribers).
In addition to a long, influential career in telecommunications, Malone has a career in beef and ranching. He owns one of the largest beef providers in the United States, which also makes him one of the country’s biggest landowners.
How Did John Malone Become a Billionaire?
John Malone became a billionaire by selling TCI to AT&T and through his carefully honed negotiation techniques.
He made his name by rising through the ranks at TCI to become its CEO and finalizing a deal with AT&T. Currently, he focuses most of his time running Liberty Media and its long list of sister companies.
As the president and CEO or Liberty Media, he frequently earns more than $20 million per year in salary and bonuses. His compensation package, however, changes depending on the company’s annual revenue and profit. He reportedly earned $47.1 million in 2020, $21.6 million in 2021, and $22.4 million in 2022.
Malone’s investment portfolio might earn him even more money than his work in the telecom industry. He owns a significant number of shares in Liberty Global. Recent filings with the SEC show that he owns about 20 million shares in the company.
Other companies in his investment portfolio include Loews Corp, DirectTV, Ascent Capital Group Inc, and Warner Bros Discovery Inc.
How Did John Malone Make His Money?
John Malone worked his way from relatively humble beginnings to become a billionaire in the telecommunications industry. After graduating from Yale with degrees in Electrical Engineering and Economics.
A stellar National Merit scholar, he then earned graduate degrees in electrical engineering from NYU and industrial management from John Hopkins.
Malone applied his work ethic and intelligence to the telecommunications industry. While attending Yale, he took a job at Bell Telephone Laboratories.
He later used his expertise in management and economics to join McKinsey & Co. He then spent the majority of his career working at Tele-Communications Inc (TCI), where he became the president and CEO.
He earned a reputation for his tough negotiation strategies at TCI. John Malone made his money in 1999 when he negotiated the sale of TCI to AT&T for almost $50 billion.
How Many Companies Does John Malone Own?
Most of John Malone’s companies trade on the public market, so it’s inaccurate to say he owns them. He does, however, own significant percentages and controlling percentages in several businesses.
Malone founded Liberty Media Corporation in 1991. Currently, Liberty has three divisions: SiriusXM, Formula One, and the Atlanta Braves.
Malone owns about 6.9% of Liberty Broadband, a company that provides diverse communication services, including high-speed internet access, wireless service, and internet managed services.
It’s the largest communications company serving Alaska but has customers throughout the U.S.
Silver Spur Ranches
John Malone owns Silver Spur Ranches, the company that makes him one of the largest private landowners in the United States.
Liberty Latin America
Malone owns 68.5% of this telecom company that serves more than 20 countries in Latin America.
Liberty Live Group
Liberty Live Group owns shares in several entertainment companies, including Live Nation.
Qurate Retail Group (Liberty Interactive)
Malone owns controlling shares in Qurate Retail Group, a company that works with video commerce companies like QVC.
Lionsgate owns several entertainment brands, including Starz, MoviePlex, Celestial Tiger Entertainment, and Laugh Out Loud.
What Is John Malone’s Net Worth?
According to Forbes, John Malone had a $9.9 billion net worth in November 2023. In 2021, Bloomberg estimated his net worth at $9 billion.
Assuming a net worth of $9.9 billion, he’s likely the 195th wealthiest person in the world.
How Much Property Does John Malone Own?
John Malone owns 2.2 million acres (3,125 square miles or 8,094 square kilometers) in the United States, making him the second-largest private land owner in the country. He also owns two castles and their estates in Ireland.
Malone owns most of his U.S. land through his ranching and beef business, Silver Spur Ranches. Most of Silver Spur Ranches’ land is in Wyoming and New Mexico, although Malone has extended the company’s reach by purchasing sizable plots in Florida and Colorado.
Silver Spur Ranch and ranches under its ownership maintain herds that total about 12,000 cows.
How Many Acres of Land Does John Malone Own?
John Malone owns 2.2 million acres of land in the U.S. That amount of land could hold more than 150 Manhattans.
He also has international land holdings, including two castles in Ireland.
Which Billionaire Owns the Most Land in the USA?
Although John Malone owns a staggering amount of land in the USA, he isn’t the biggest landholder. That honor goes to Archie Aldis Emmerson. Emmerson and his family own 2.33 million acres of land in the United States.
Emmerson founded Sierra Pacific Industries, a lumber company that manages about 1.9 million acres of timberland.
The company operates six mills in California, four in Washington, and two in Oregon. It’s also the largest private landowner in California, where it maintains its headquarters in Anderson, a small city in Shasta County with a population of about 11,300.
How Much Did John Malone Donate to Trump?
John Malone donated $250,000 to Donald Trump during the 2016 election cycle. However, he did not support Trump’s reelection attempt.
In 2019, Malone told journalists that he believes Trump creates chaos and doesn’t build teams, which makes him an ineffective leader. Instead, Malone supported Michael Bloomberg, a fellow media mogul who ran in the 2020 primary election as a Democrat.
After Bloomberg’s loss to current president Joe Biden, Malone did not say which candidate he would vote for.
Records show that he donated $100,000 to the Maine Republican Party in 2022, although this doesn’t necessarily indicate which presidential candidate he preferred in the previous election or upcoming elections.
Is John Malone a Catholic?
Malone identifies as a Catholic and attends services at a church near his home in Elizabeth, CO, just south of Denver.
What Is John Malone Doing Now?
John Malone currently works as a board member of Qurate Retail Group, Liberty Global, and Liberty Media, where he also has a controlling number of shares. He also stays busy managing his investment portfolio, which includes significant holdings in Starz and Lionsgate.
Malone is involved in multiple philanthropic endeavors. He formed the Malone Family Foundation in 1997. The organization maintains an endowment used to fund scholarships to private schools throughout the United States.
His philanthropy has also supported universities in Colorado. He gave $42.5 million to Colorado State University. The money helped fund the construction and founding of the school’s Institute for Biologic Translational Therapies.
Recently, he donated $25 million to the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, where his wife received cardiac care. The medical center named a new tower in its complex the Malone Family Tower in his honor.
The author has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Financhill has a disclosure policy. This post may contain affiliate links or links from our sponsors.