Robert L. Johnson
Robert L. Johnson is the Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that owns or holds interest in a diverse portfolio of companies in consumer financial services, real estate, hospitality, professional sports, film production, gaming and automotive industries. In July 2007, Mr. Johnson was named by USA Today as one of the “25 Most Influential Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years.”
Prior to forming The RLJ Companies, Mr. Johnson was Founder and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), the nation’s first and leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African American audience. Under Mr. Johnson’s leadership, BET became the first African American owned company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Mr. Johnson sold BET to Viacom for approximately $3 billion and remained the Chief Executive Officer through 2006.