BE 100s Billion-Dollar Club: Lessons from Top-Earning Black Business

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One of the legendary serial entrepreneurs of black business is BET founder and billionaire Bob Johnson. Over the decades, he has owned companies in every BE 100s category except for advertising. He currently has three on our 2014 rankings - private equity firms, RLJ Equity Partners L.L.C. and RLJ Credit Management L.L.C., and the Little Rock, Arkansas-based megadealership RLJ McLarty Landers Automotive Holdings L.L.C. (No. 1 on the BE AUTO DEALERS list with $1.3 billion in gross revenue). In 2007, Johnson teamed up with Mack McLarty, a White House Chief of Staff under President Clinton, and veteran auto dealer Steve Landers to create a vehicle to give African Americans an opportunity to manage and own dealerships. Identified as the Automotive News All-Star for privately-held dealerships, the global enterprise was cited for growing the number of outlets, which can be found in the U.S., Mexico and Brazil, from 10 to 25 in four years. RLJ McLarty Landers first appeared on the auto dealers roster in 2009 and surpassed the billion-dollar revenue threshold on the 2012 list.

One of the legendary serial entrepreneurs of black business is BET founder and billionaire Bob…