In 2004, Theodore (Ted) Forstmann became the Chairman and CEO of IMG for the small purchase price of $750 million. Forbes has determined that the 71-year-old Forstmann has a net worth of $1.8 billion. Unfortunately, there is no amount of money that can buy a clean bill of health. Earlier this year, Forstmann was diagnosed with brain cancer. But one thing is certain, Forstmann does not wish to be remembered for his medical problems. I doubt he would mind being known as the man who turned a successful company into the global leader in sports, fashion, and media. It must seriously pain him to read and hear about board member Michael Ovitz’s recent failed attempt to take over IMG company management after Forstmann passed on his authority over IMG’s operations (at least until he regains his health) to IMG President and Chief Operating Officer Mike Dolan.
The most thorough reporting that I found on the matter was written by Sharon Waxman and Brent Lang at TheWrap.com (although they need to catch up on the fact that Tiger Woods is no longer an IMG client – he left with his agent Mark Steinberg to become a part of Excel Sports). They found that Mike Dolan made calls to important board members to discuss how kick Ovitz off of IMG’s board after it was found that Ovitz was trying to create an “executive committee” that management would have to report to, and may have also floated the idea that he was interested in purchasing IMG. Management currently only has to report to Forstmann and Dolan.
TheWrap.com reported that a “knowledgeable individual” said the board voted 7-4 to get rid of Ovitz and that the board members planned on formalizing that decision this past Monday. I have left a message with IMG spokesman Jim Gallagher to see if he can confirm that there was a vote, that it was 7-4, and whether or not the decision to kick Ovitz off the board was finalized on Monday. I also asked whether someone will take Ovitz’s empty seat. I am awaiting Gallagher’s response.