Who is Austin Russell? 28-Year-Old Tech Billionaire Acquires 82% Stake in Publishing Giant Forbes

A 28-year-old American billionaire has acquired 82 percent stake in media giant Forbes. Austin Russell, who is the Chairman and CEO of automotive technology company Luminar Technologies, took the majority stake in the publishing company.

As per the deal, Forbes Global Media Holdings is valued at nearly $800 million. The company publishes the Forbes magazine, among other publications. Russell's stake includes the remaining portion of the company owned by its namesake family, which sold 95 per cent of the company to Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments in 2014, according to WSJ. Integrated Whale Media will retain a minority stake, according to the report.

Austin Russel
Austin Russel Reuters

More From IANS

Russell plans to serve as a visionary for Forbes brand and won't be involved in day-to-day operations, according to the statement.

Forbes plans to appoint a new board consisting of American media, technology and artificial intelligence experts. Integrated Whale will keep one board seat.

Russell will not be involved in day-to-day operations at Forbes, founded in 1917 by BC Forbes, and the publication plans to appoint a new board with US media, technology and artificial intelligence (AI) experts.

Luminar Technologies currently has a $2.1 billion market cap.

For the past decade, Luminar has built an advanced hardware and software platform to enable its more than 50 industry partners, including the majority of global automotive OEMs.

Luminar Firing on all Cylinders

From Volvo Cars and Mercedes-Benz for consumer vehicles and Daimler Trucks for commercial trucks, to tech partners NVIDIA and Intel's Mobileye, Luminar is poised to be the first automotive technology company to enable next-generation safety and autonomous capabilities for production vehicles.

In Q1 2023, Luminar said it exceeded its revenue guidance and maintains a strong balance sheet for accelerating business growth and reaching positive cash flow.

It posted revenue of $14.5 million, up 112 per cent year-over-year. Luminar expects at least 100 per cent revenue growth in 2023.

"Luminar is firing on all cylinders and successfully proving our ability to execute, industrialise and capitalise on our business. Over the past quarter, leading automakers have continued to expand our technology across their vehicle lineups, betting on the future of their ADAS and autonomous roadmaps in partnership with Luminar," said Russell.