Tom Gores

Last updated

Tom Gores
Tewfiq Georgious

(1964-07-31) July 31, 1964 (age 58)
Nazareth, Israel
NationalityAmerican [1]
Alma mater Michigan State University
Occupation(s)Chairman and CEO of Platinum Equity LLC
Owner of Palace Sports and Entertainment
SpouseHolly Gores
Family Alec Gores (brother)
Sam Gores (brother)

Tom Gores (born Tewfiq Georgious, [2] Arabic : توفيق جورجيوس; July 31, 1964) [3] is an American billionaire businessman. He is the founder of Platinum Equity, a private equity firm headquartered in Beverly Hills, California. In June 2011, Gores and Platinum Equity became the owners of the National Basketball Association's Detroit Pistons. He became the sole owner in 2015. As of March 2022, his net worth was estimated at US$6.0 billion. [4]


Early life and education

Gores was born in Nazareth, Israel on July 31, 1964. [3] He was the fifth of six children [5] in a practicing Catholic family with a father of Greek descent and a mother of Lebanese descent. [6] When he was around five years old, he and his family left Nazareth and settled in Genesee, Michigan located 10 miles northeast of Flint. [6] His first job involved stocking shelves at his uncle's grocery store in Genesee. While a student at Genesee High School, Gores played defensive back in football, middle infielder in baseball, and guard in basketball. [7]

After high school, he attended Michigan State University, where he worked as a janitor and telemarketer to make ends meet. [5] He graduated in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in construction management. [3] [6]


Early career and Platinum Equity

After college, Gores had a short stint at Continental Telephone before helping found a lumber-logistics software firm (Ventech). In 1989, he and his wife drove from Michigan to Los Angeles in a used Cadillac to run the firm's West Coast operations. [5] [8] In 1995, Gores founded Platinum Equity in his home in Sherman Oaks. At the outset, Gores cold-called businesses to see if they had any divisions they were looking to offload. He found his first project with Litigation Services, Inc. (LSI), a then unprofitable firm that created computer-generated re-creations of accidents for courtroom evidence and testimony. He acquired it for $200,000, reorganized some of the corporate structure, and returned it to profitability within six months. Between 1996 and 2001, Gores led 32 acquisitions, including those of Pilot Software, Racal, and Williams Communications. [5] [8] By the following year, Platinum Equity's portfolio included units of Motorola, Fujitsu, and Alcatel. [9]

Gores was first listed on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans in 2002. [9] In 2006, he led a deal to acquire PNA Steel, ultimately selling it to Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co. in 2008 for a net profit of $512 million. In May 2009, Gores purchased The San Diego Union-Tribune for an estimated $30 million [5] (the newspaper was sold in 2011 for $110 million). [10] By 2009, Gores had facilitated in excess of 100 deals through Platinum Equity. [5]

Acquisition of the Detroit Pistons

Gores had shown interest in purchasing and was one of the front runners to become the owner of the NBA's Detroit Pistons after the death of the long-time owner, Bill Davidson, in 2009. In October 2010, it was reported that then-Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Tigers owner, Mike Ilitch, would purchase Detroit's NBA franchise. [11] [12] But, after Ilitch's exclusive 30-day negotiating period with Davidson's widow (Karen) ended, Gores showed renewed interest. [3] He secured an exclusive negotiating period of his own in January 2011 and was presumed to become the next owner of the Pistons. [13]

On June 1, 2011, Gores and Platinum Equity bought Palace Sports and Entertainment (PS&E) (the parent company of the Pistons and their former arena, The Palace of Auburn Hills) becoming the third owner in the franchise's 70-year history. [3] [6] The purchase price of $325 million was referred to as a "shocking bargain" by Crain's Detroit Business , although, in January 2011, Forbes had valued it at only $35 million more than eventual purchase price. [14] Early in his tenure as owner, Gores approved $10-million worth of renovations to the Palace of Auburn Hills. [15] He also instituted programs like "Seats for Soldiers"—which provides free tickets for PS&E events to U.S. military members and their families— [16] and "Come Together"—a program celebrating community service, leadership, and volunteerism throughout Michigan. [17]

In September 2015, Gores purchased Platinum Equity's stake in the Pistons to become the franchise's sole owner. He had previously held a 51% stake while Platinum held 49%. [18]

MLS expansion, further work with Pistons, and other business dealings

In April 2016, Gores and Cleveland Cavaliers owner, Dan Gilbert, announced their intention to bring a Major League Soccer franchise to Detroit, [19] [20] although that deal is currently in limbo as the MLS considers multiple expansion options. [21]

Later in 2016, Gores reached an agreement with the Ilitches (who own Olympia Entertainment and the Detroit Red Wings and Tigers) to allow the Pistons to share the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit with the Red Wings. [22] The deal went into effect at the beginning of the 2017 season and marked the first time the Pistons regularly played in the city of Detroit proper since 1978. [23] Gores and the Ilitches entered into another joint venture with their businesses (PS&E and Olympia Entertainment) called "313 Presents." The new business schedules shows and handles production, marketing, and media for the six Detroit-area venues owned between the two companies. [24]

As of February 2018, the Pistons were valued at $1.1 billion, a gain of $775 million since Gores' purchase in 2011. [25] In June 2018, Gores hired former Toronto Raptors head coach and the reigning NBA Coach of the Year, Dwane Casey. [26] Outside of sports, he has also acquired numerous properties usually in the Los Angeles area, [27] including 301 North Carolwood Drive in Holmby Hills. [28] [29]


In 2016, Gores launched FlintNOW, an organization designed to raise up to $10 million to provide relief to residents of Flint, Michigan, affected by the city's water crisis. [30] Since 2009, Gores has donated toys to children in Detroit and Flint through the Toys for Tots program. [31] Other Detroit area organizations to which Gores has given substantial support include the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy and S.A.Y Detroit. At the conclusion of the Pistons 2018–2019 season he made a donation of $255,000 to S.A.Y Detroit which was the result of a pledge Gores made during the annual radiothon to donate $5,000 for every Pistons win during the regular season and a $50,000 bonus for making the Playoffs. [32] [33]

Gores supports several philanthropic and charitable organizations. He served on the board of trustees of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) until October 2020 and was also a member of the board of directors at both St. Joseph's Hospital and the UCLA Medical Center. [34] [35] [36] Gores and his family help to support Children's Hospital Los Angeles and, in particular, the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. In 2016, Gores and his wife Holly donated $5 million to the hospital to establish the Gores Family Allergy center, which helps provide comprehensive care and research in allergy studies. [35] [37]

In 2022, Gores gifted $20 million in order to construct a community center in Detroit's River Rouge Park. The announcement came as one of the first in a run of initiatives for the Gores Family Foundation. The Center is a 25,000-square-foot multi-use facility and will be the hosting location for a diverse range of programming for the area. The foundation worked with Detroit's Parks and Recreation Department. [38]

Personal life

Gores lives in Beverly Hills, California, [39] with his wife Holly and three children. [3] [5] He also has a condo in Birmingham, Michigan. [40]

In 2016, Gores purchased the former Disney Estate, a contemporary-style mansion in the Holmby Hills area of LA. The property worth $100 million is on 3.2 acres of land and is over 30,000 square feet of interior space with ten bedrooms and twenty bathrooms across both the main and guest house. The property also includes a wine room, lounge, theatre complex, spa, pool, and steam rooms.[ citation needed ]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Joe Louis Arena</span> Former arena in Detroit

Joe Louis Arena was an arena in Downtown Detroit. Completed in 1979 at a cost of US$57 million as a replacement for Olympia Stadium, it sat adjacent to Cobo Center on the bank of the Detroit River and was accessible by the Joe Louis Arena station on the Detroit People Mover. The venue was named after former heavyweight champion boxer Joe Louis, who grew up in Detroit.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">The Palace of Auburn Hills</span> Arena in Michigan, United States

The Palace of Auburn Hills, commonly referred to as the Palace, was a multi-purpose arena built in 1988 and located in Auburn Hills, Michigan. It was the home of the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Detroit Shock of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA), the Detroit Vipers of the International Hockey League, the Detroit Rockers of the National Professional Soccer League, the Detroit Neon/Detroit Safari of the Continental Indoor Soccer League, and the Detroit Fury of the Arena Football League.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bill Davidson (businessman)</span> American businessman

William Morse Davidson, was an American businessman. He was President, Chairman and CEO of Guardian Industries, one of the world's largest manufacturers of architectural and automotive glass. He was also owner of several North American professional sports teams and a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Palace Sports & Entertainment (PS&E) is an American sports and entertainment company owned by Tom Gores. Its largest subsidiary is the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association.

Marian Bayoff Ilitch is an American billionaire businesswoman, and the co-founder of Little Caesars Pizza with her late husband, Mike Ilitch. As of March 2018, Ilitch was one of the world's seven richest women, according to Bloomberg.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ilitch Holdings</span> Holding company

Ilitch Holdings, Inc. is an American holding company established in 1999 to provide all companies owned by Mike and Marian Ilitch with professional and technical services. Its privately held businesses include Little Caesars Pizza, the National Hockey League (NHL) Detroit Red Wings, the Major League Baseball (MLB) Detroit Tigers, Olympia Entertainment, Olympia Development, Olympia Parking, Blue Line Foodservice Distribution, Champion Foods, 313 Presents, the Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program, Hockeytown Cafe, and a variety of venues within these entities. Ilitch Holdings subsidiaries manage Detroit's Fox Theatre, City Theatre, Comerica Park, Pine Knob Music Theatre, Michigan Lottery Amphitheater, Meadow Brook Amphitheater, and Little Caesars Arena, which replaced the Joe Louis Arena after closing in July 2017.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stephen M. Ross</span> American businessman

Stephen Michael Ross is an American real estate developer, philanthropist, and sports team owner. Ross is the chairman and majority owner of The Related Companies, a global real estate development firm he founded in 1972. Related is best known for developing the Deutsche Bank Center, where Ross lives and works, as well as the Hudson Yards Redevelopment Project. According to Forbes magazine, Ross has a net worth of $7.6 billion in 2020, ranking him 185 on Forbes Billionaires List in 2020. Having doubled his net worth since 2008, he paid no income taxes in the next decade utilizing the losses on the properties he owned. Ross is also the principal owner of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dan Gilbert</span> American businessman

Daniel Gilbert is an American billionaire, businessman, and philanthropist. He is the co-founder and majority owner of Rocket Mortgage, founder of Rock Ventures, and owner of the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers. Gilbert owns several sports franchises, including the American Hockey League's Cleveland Monsters, and the NBA G League's Cleveland Charge. He operates the Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio, home to the Cavaliers and Monsters. As of January 2023, Forbes estimated his net worth at US$18.3 billion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Olympia Entertainment</span> Sports and entertainment company

Olympia Entertainment is an American sports and entertainment company headquartered in the Fox Theatre in Downtown Detroit, Michigan. Olympia is a division of Ilitch Holdings, and owned by Marian Ilitch. It owns or manages the Detroit Red Wings, the Detroit Tigers, the Fox Theatre, Joe Louis Arena (management), Comerica Park (management), Cobo Arena (management), City Theatre, Hockeytown Café, as well as the new Little Caesars Arena, home of the Red Wings and Detroit Pistons. Starting on December 1, 2007 Olympia began managing the entertainment venues at the Detroit Masonic Temple after the Detroit Masonic Association ousted the previous management company Halberd.

Platinum Equity, LLC is an American private equity investment firm founded by Tom Gores in 1995. The firm focuses on leveraged buyout investments of established companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Alec E. Gores is an American billionaire businessman who began making his fortune through leveraged buyouts of technology firms at the firm The Gores Group. He has also been instrumental in popularizing SPACs, beginning in the mid-2010s.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Halo Burger</span> Fast food chain based in Flint, Michigan, United States

Halo Burger, formerly known by its full name Bill Thomas' Halo Burger, is an American fast-food restaurant chain based in Genesee County, Michigan. Begun in 1923 as the original Kewpee location and separating from the Kewpee chain in 1967 with two locations, the chain has maintained a number of locations in and around Genesee County.

Manuel "Matty" Moroun was an American billionaire businessman, most notable as the owner of the Ambassador Bridge international crossing connecting Detroit, Michigan, and Windsor, Ontario. The bridge, which Moroun purchased from the Bower family in 1979, is one of the few privately owned border crossings between the United States and Canada.

Denise Ilitch is a Detroit-area businessperson, lawyer, and member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan. Ilitch was rumored to be a Democratic Party candidate for Governor of Michigan in 2010, after having met with the White House in early January to discuss a potential run, though she later declined to run.

Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) is a municipal corporation responsible for distributing water services in the Mid-Michigan and Thumb areas of the U.S. state of Michigan. Members of the authority are the cities of Flint and Lapeer, and the counties of Genesee, Lapeer and Sanilac. Karegnondi is a word from the Petan Indian language meaning "lake" and another early name for Lake Huron.

Manoj Bhargava is an Indian American billionaire businessman and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of Innovations Ventures LLC, the company known for producing the 5-hour Energy drink. By 2012 the brand had grown to do an estimated $1 billion in sales. In 2015, Bhargava pledged 99% of his net worth to improving the well-being of the world's less fortunate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Little Caesars Arena</span> Indoor arena in Detroit

Little Caesars Arena is a multi-purpose arena in Midtown Detroit. Opened on September 5, 2017, the arena, which cost $862.9 million to construct, replaced Joe Louis Arena and The Palace of Auburn Hills as the home of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association (NBA), respectively.

301 North Carolwood Drive is a private residence located at 301 North Carolwood Drive in the city of Los Angeles, ranking as the twelfth largest private residence in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The mansion was completed in 2016 on one of the most expensive streets in the world.

George W. Jackson (born January 1, 1953) is an American real estate developer. From 2002 to 2014, he served as President and CEO of the Detroit Economic Growth Corp (DEGC), a non-profit organization which offers, financial, technical, and development assistance in Michigan.


  1. "#504 Tom Gores". The World's Billionaires 2009. Forbes. 2009. Archived from the original on March 16, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2009.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. Parker, Garrett (May 6, 2019). "10 Things You Didn't Know about Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores". Money Inc. Retrieved September 22, 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kurlyandchik, Mark (October 18, 2011). "New Pistons Owner Tom Gores Aims High". Hour Detroit. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  4. "Forbes profile: Tom Gores". Forbes. Retrieved March 18, 2022.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bertoni, Steven (October 2, 2009). "Ready to Play". Forbes. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  6. 1 2 3 4 Dean, Jason. "Tom Gores: Balancing Family, Business, and the Detroit Pistons". CSQ. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
  7. "Self-made billionaire Tom Gores of tiny Genesee could be next owner of Detroit Pistons". January 9, 2011. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
  8. 1 2 Berman, Phyllis (July 9, 2001). "Buyout Buccaneer". Forbes. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  9. 1 2 Bannon, Lisa (April 9, 2002). "Gores Brothers Jockey for Same Deals In Grown-Up Game of Sibling Rivalry". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  10. Cohen, Noam; Vega, Tanzina (November 17, 2011). "San Diego Union-Tribune Sold to Hotelier for More Than $100 Million". The New York Times. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  11. Shea, Bill (October 5, 2010). "Detroit Pistons owner to sell team to Mike Ilitch". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  12. Shea, Bill (September 19, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE: More of my chat with Detroit Pistons bidder Tom Gores". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  13. Savage, Brendan (January 9, 2011). "Self-made billionaire Tom Gores of tiny Genesee could be next owner of Detroit Pistons". Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  14. Shea, Bill (June 5, 2011). "'Shocking' bargain: Gores pays $325 million for Pistons". Crain's Detroit Business. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  15. Glass, Alana (July 30, 2012). "Tom Gores Puts His Stamp On The Detroit Pistons With Arena Renovations". Forbes. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  16. "'Seats for Soldiers' free ticket offer continues for designated events at The Palace". The Oakland Press. November 11, 2011. Archived from the original on March 22, 2013. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  17. Lacy, Eric (August 12, 2012). "Detroit Pistons, Kid Rock, Sheryl Crow, recognize impactful Michigan residents at DTE Energy Music Theatre". Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  18. Manzullo, Brian (September 4, 2015). "Tom Gores buys remaining Pistons stake from his firm". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  19. Ellis, Vince (August 15, 2016). "Why soccer matters to Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  20. "CONFIRMED: Gores And Gilbert Want Soccer Team And To Build New Stadium Downtown". Daily Detroit. April 26, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  21. Ellis, Vince (October 18, 2018). "Detroit MLS expansion group: Ford Field retractable roof is no-go". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  22. Ellis, Vince (November 27, 2016). "How Gores' meeting with Ilitches made Pistons' move to downtown happen". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  23. Beard, Rod (October 4, 2017). "Some good, some bad as Pistons lose in LCA debut". The Detroit News. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  24. McCollum, Brian (October 8, 2017). "313 Presents: What this Palace-Olympia deal means for metro Detroit entertainment". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  25. Shea, Bill (February 7, 2018). "Forbes: Pistons now worth $1.1 billion". Crain's Detroit Business . Retrieved February 18, 2018.
  26. Sang, Orion (June 20, 2018). "Pistons owner Tom Gores won over Dwane Casey's wife with phone call". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  27. David, Mark (September 30, 2014). "Gores Brothers Play High-End Property Games". Variety. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  28. Barragan, Bianca (October 24, 2016). "Ridiculous Holmby Hills spec house now belongs to Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores". Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  29. Leitereg, Neal J. (October 21, 2016). "Tom Gores buys Holmby Hills spec house in $100-million deal involving multiple properties". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  30. Perez, A.J. (January 28, 2016). "Pistons owner Tom Gores plans to raise $10 million to help Flint". USA Today. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  31. Chambo, Andy (December 18, 2018). "Pistons owner provides Christmas presents for children in Flint and Detroit". WJRT. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  32. "Tom Gores Donates $255,000 to S.A.Y. Detroit". NBA. May 1, 2019.
  33. "Mitch Albom's SAY Detroit Radiothon raises record $1.28 million". Detroit Free Press. December 7, 2018.
  34. Householder, Mike (April 8, 2011). "Billionaire Tom Gores to buy NBA's Detroit Pistons". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  35. 1 2 Rohrlich, Justin (June 21, 2018). "Meet the Gores Brothers, Billionaire Investors Living the American Dream". Maxim. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  36. Shiri (October 12, 2020). "Tom Gores Resigns From Board Of The LACMA". Canyon News. Retrieved October 26, 2020.
  37. "Tom And Holly Gores Partner With Children's Hospital Los Angeles To Create New State-Of-the Art Allergy Center". Bevery Hills Courier. January 8, 2016. Retrieved June 18, 2019.
  38. King, R.J. (June 1, 2022). "Tom Gores Invests $20M to Build a Community Center in Detroit's Rouge Park".
  39. Leitereg, Neal J. "Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores springs for familiar spot in Beverly Park". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved December 21, 2017.
  40. "Want to buy the top floor of a five-story building?". HometownLife. Retrieved December 21, 2017.