Laurene Powell Jobs Goes Shopping
Laurene Powell Jobs Goes Shopping…
Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of the late Steve Jobs, has been taking the entertainment world by storm. Armed with a net-worth of $20 billion, she’s deploying capital into some of the industry’s newest and most innovative upstarts, building from her philanthropic past work in education and public policy. Now that she’s disrupting the media space, heads are turning and we’re betting it’s the birth of a new media powerhouse.
Last week major news outlets announced that Laurene purchased a majority stake in The Atlantic. The Atlantic is a whopping 160 year old publication and has been a staple in authentic and influential reporting illuminating the highs and lows of our democracy. This move highlights her recent spending spree as she’s also put in a significant investment in Anonymous Content and a whopping $40M in Chris Milk’s VR/AR start up Within. She helped champion the way for Charles King’s diversity driven MACRO and was one of the investors responsible in kickstarting new media company Axios. All of these radical companies are changing the game and ushering in the new world order of media.
Laurene has been strong in philanthropy for the last couple decades spending much of her time supporting lower income students in high school and college while challenging the educational industry. She runs most of her operation through The Emerson Collective, her social impact organization focused on education, the environment, immigration, and social justice issues. Along with all their media investments, they’ve made big votes of confidence in The Marshall Project, ProPublica and XQ. Now Laurene is making a name for herself, buying companies that affect creative storytelling. In ways it’s fitting as most of her wealth comes from her holdings in The Walt Disney company and not Apple.
The move into Hollywood and journalism comes at a time where both are being disrupted. We’ll admit, not everyone has the extra cash to strategically invest, but ladies take note, and fellas, take an even bigger one. We suspect she’ll be furthering her philanthropic goals, but don’t be surprised if she makes more smart and interesting bets on innovative companies like these. She joins the ranks of wealthy billionaires who own influential and subversive news orgs like Jeff Bezos and Carlos Slim who own The Washington Post and NY Times respectively.
Laurene’s got taste, the companies she’s investing in are disruptive and worth affiliating with. We see a little media empire being created that’s diversity driven, auteur driven, people driven, and chop full of the sort of authenticity people are striving to consume. In her interview with Senator Kamala Harris and Kara Swisher from Recode, you see her say that she wants to be part of the creation of the cultural narrative. She wants to inspire the kind of stories all of her organizations want to see told. It’s all a vehicle to fuel her desire to make a mark on the world in a positive way. We think it’s refreshing.