Spiderman, X-Men, Captain America. All of these characters come from the world of Marvel Comics. And the CEO of Marvel Entertainment is Isaac Perlmutter. He has held that position since the beginning of 2005. More importantly, however, is the fact that Mr. Perlmutter owns a large quantity of stock that amounts to more than one third of the company. With the pending sale of Marvel Entertainment to Disney, Perlmutter stands to get well over a billion dollars for his share in the company.
Isaac Perlmutter, more commonly known as “Ike”, was born 1945 in what was to become Israel. Due to his private nature, little else is known about his early years. He fought during the Israeli Six Day War in 1967. Soon after, he came to America. According to a Newsweek article, Perlmutter arrived in America with about $250 in his pocket. From the start though, he definitely showed the makings of an entrepreneur. He made his first fortune selling surplus good to dollar stores. In the process, he gained a business education from the ground up.
Perlmutter is described as the type of guy that generally sits back and absorbs what is going on around him. But don’t take this as a sign that he is laid back. His mind is always moving forward and looking for the next challenge. Perlmutter’s heavy Israeli accent is often cited as a reason for his lack of public presence, but other accounts show he is more of a background person instead of someone comfortable in the limelight.
Perlmutter enhanced his toy and entertainment world when he paired with Ari Avad. Perlmutter and Avad took a toy company from Charan Industries and created a new company called Toy Biz. Very soon after its inception, Toy Biz struck a deal with Marvel Entertainment to create and market action figures based on famous Marvel heros. Perlmutter began serving on the Board of Directors at Marvel in April of 1993.
Due to poor management and an underperforming public offering, Marvel Comics filed for bankruptcy in 1996. In the next year, legal battles raged among the chief investors until Perlmutter and Avad emerged victorious with majority control of the company. The next decade found Marvel beginning a successful climb back into profitability. Marvel began opening up its offerings to capture both older and younger audiences. They have partnered up and had two very successful movie francises of X-Men and Spiderman.
Perlmutter became Vice Chairman of the Board at Marvel in November of 2001 and now functions as the Chief Executive Officer since the beginning of 2005.
The biggest news of 2009 for Marvel came at the end August, when it was announced that Walt Disney had offered $6 billion to acquire Marvel. Perlmutter had acquired a 37% ownership in Marvel right after the bankruptcy proceeding in the late 1990’s. The Disney acquisition would net Perlmutter over $1.4 billion once the sale is finalized.
in 1993, Perlmutter, along with his wife, Laura, established the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Professorship and Chair in Cell Biology at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine. Mrs. Perlmutter has served as a trustee on the NYU Medical Center’s Board of Trustees since 1993.
News & Views, Spring 2003 edition, Newsletter for the NYU Medical Center Community, “Laura Perlmutter”
MoneyWeek, “Isaac Perlmutter: mild-mannered business superhero”
Wikipedia, “Isaac Perlmutter” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Perlmutter)