Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX and chief executive officer of Tesla, waves while arriving to a discussion at the Satellite 2020 Conference in Washington, D.C., on Monday, March 9, 2020.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Elon Musk is about to increase his already hefty workload.
Endeavor began as a talent agency started by one of Hollywood’s most recognizable agents, Ari Emanuel. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, the company has become a media and entertainment conglomerate that owns and manages live events including UFC, the Miami Open, New York Fashion Week, Frieze art fairs and the Miss Universe international beauty pageant.
Now, Endeavor is planning to go public and wants Musk, the world’s second-richest person, as one of its 11 directors.
“Mr. Musk was selected to serve on our board of directors because of his professional background and experience running a public company, his previously held senior executive-level positions, his service on other public company boards and his experience starting, growing and integrating businesses,” Endeavor said in its IPO filing
Musk, who still has to be elected to the board, is allowed to serve as a director for a public company despite a settlement with the SEC that caused him to step down as Tesla’s chairman and pay a fine in 2018. That punishment stemmed from a Musk tweet that said he was considering taking Tesla private.
The Emanuel family has a history of working with Musk. Ari Emanuel was an early proponent of Tesla, putting down a reservation for the company’s first production vehicle, the original Roadster. His siblings include Chicago’s 55th Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, whose administration gave a big contract to Musk’s The Boring Company in 2018.
Ari Emanuel speaks onstage during the 2017 LACMA Art + Film Gala Honoring Mark Bradford and George Lucas presented by Gucci at LACMA on November 4, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.
Stefanie Keenan | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Musk has also been a popular guest on comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” appearing as recently as February. Rogan is a UFC fan and has worked for the organization as a broadcaster. Rogan is also represented by Endeavor.
Endeavor filed for an IPO two years ago but scrapped its plans due to weak investor demand. The company generated sales of $3.48 billion and posted a net loss of $625.3 million last year. Revenue was more than $1 billion lower than in 2019 due to pandemic shutdowns.
Former President Donald Trump and Emanuel are long-time associates. Trump was once a William Morris Endeavor client and Endeavor purchased the Miss Universe pageant from him in 2015. Endeavor also owns the WME talent agency, which represents athletes, actors and other celebrities.
Investors in Endeavor, including Elliott Management and Silver Lake Partners, confirmed that the nomination of Musk is not an April Fool’s prank, despite the proximity of the company’s S-1 filing date to April Fools’ day, which is Thursday.