Business Leader, Football, Investor

Robert Kraft’s Life’s Business

Early Life

Robert Kraft is an American billionaire entrepreneur, chairman, and chief executive officer of The Kraft Group. He was born to James and Dorothy Kraft in 1941. His father was a doctor, and his mother had been a nurse.

Robert Kraft graduated from Harvard College, where he majored in economics. After college, he worked for the investment banker Dillon Read & Co., then went on to work in retail at Boston Store.

He opened his first restaurant called “The Lobster Pot,” during which time he also became President of Tastykakes.

Social Work and Philanthropy

Robert Kraft supports many causes related to education, such as the Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Business School Alliance, and The Coalition of Essential Schools. He made donations to George W. Bush’s presidential election campaign in 2004 to help him win Florida. During the 2008 United States Presidential Election Campaign, Kraft donated money to Barack Obama’s campaign through New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.

Business Positions

Robert Kraft has held several positions within various companies. In 1973, he joined Procter & Gamble as director of sales planning. He left the position one year later. Two years later, in 1975, he rejoined Procter & Gamble in the same capacity.

In 1982, Kraft was named vice president of marketing and sales for Nabisco Brands. He stayed there for six years. Then in 1988, he was promoted to president and chief operating officer of Nabisco Holdings Limited.

On October 20, 1990, he purchased Kraft Foods Inc. At the time of purchase, Kraft foods had a market capitalization of approximately $1.9 billion. Kraft Foods’ current annual revenues are around $21.5 billion.

In April 2000, Kraft purchased the Philadelphia 76ers NBA, basketball team. His involvement in the team began when he and James Wagner Jr., former Vice President of Marketing at Kraft Foods, attended a game against the Los Angeles Lakers in 1992. Kraft liked the team and wanted control over them. He purchased the team in March 1999 for $425 million. In 1997, Kraft Foods bought Gimbels Department Stores for $2.2 billion. This move increased Kraft’s presence in retail. It also helped increase Kraft’s visibility because it allowed Kraft to compete more effectively with Wal-Mart. Go to this page for more information.


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