Tom Gores (Born: Tewfiq Georgious Arabic: توفيق جورجيوس) (born July 31, 1964) is an American businessman and investor. He is a billionaire with an estimated current net worth of $3.9 billion according to the 2015 Forbes list of World’s Billionaires. He is the founder of Platinum Equity, a private equity firm with headquarters in Beverly Hills. On June 1, 2011, Tom Gores and Platinum Equity became the owners of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Detroit Pistons.
Tom Gores was born into a practicing Catholic family in Nazareth, Israel, the son of a father of Greek descent and a mother of Lebanese descent. In 1968, the family moved to Genesee, Michigan. While a student at Genesee High School, Gores played defensive back in football, middle infielder in baseball, and guard in basketball. He received a scholarship to attend Michigan State University, where he graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Science degree in construction management. He spent his twenties learning the buyout business with his older brother Alec. Prior to joining his brother, Tom was working at Continental Telephone for a short stint.
Gores lives in Beverly Hills, California with his wife and three children. He also has a condo in Birmingham, Michigan.
As a global private equity business magnate, Gores was estimated in 2011 by Forbes to be the 159th-richest American with a $2.5 billion fortune. He founded the Beverly Hills, California based Platinum Equity LLC in 1995 with the intent to acquire non-core divisions of Fortune 1000 corporations. Platinum Equity has since expanded its investment criteria to include public-to-private transactions and acquisitions from private sellers. Since its founding, the firm has acquired more than 130 companies in industries that include technology and IT services, manufacturing, industrials, distribution, transportation and logistics, and equipment rentals.
In 2010, Platinum Equity was recognized as one of the largest and fastest-growing private companies in America, ranking #31 on Forbes’ Largest Private Companies list in 2010 and #1 on the 2010 and 2011 Los Angeles Business Journal list of LA’s Largest Private Companies. In 2011, Platinum Equity rose to #23 on Forbes’ Largest Private Companies list, due to a 22.4% increase in the firm’s revenue. In 2011, Platinum ranked #7 on the Los Angeles Business Journal’s list of the Largest Private Equity Firms in Los Angeles.
Gores was featured on the April 2010 cover of Mergers & Acquisitions magazine as its “Pro of the Year.” In addition, Gores was featured on the Summer 2011 cover of C-Suite Quarterly with an article entitled “Tom Gores On Balancing Family, Business, and The Detroit Pistons.”
On June 1, 2011, Tom Gores and Platinum Equity bought Palace Sports and Entertainment (PS&E), the parent company of the Pistons and their arena, The Palace of Auburn Hills, from Karen Davidson, the wife of the late Bill Davidson, becoming only the third owner in the franchise’s 70-year history. According to Crain’s Detroit Business, the final sale price was $325 million, far lower than expected. Still, it was a handsome return on Davidson’s original investment; he’d bought the team from founding owner Fred Zollner in 1974 for $6 million.
Soon after Gores and Platinum Equity took ownership, the Pistons made several leadership changes including appointing Dennis Mannion to oversee operations of PS&E and the Pistons and Lawrence Frank as head coach of the Pistons. Frank was the former head coach of the New Jersey Nets, now known as the Brooklyn Nets. Former Pistons star Joe Dumars remained as President of Basketball Operations.
Under Gores’ ownership, PS&E and the Pistons have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the Detroit community through programs that include “Seats for Soldiers,” which provides free tickets for PS&E events to US armed forces members and their families, as well as “Come Together,” a program celebrating community service, leadership, and volunteerism throughout Michigan.
Tom Gores supports several philanthropic organizations, and serves on the board of trustees for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). He was also a member of the board of directors at St. Joseph’s Hospital and UCLA Medical Center. In 2011, Gores and Platinum Equity began making a series of donations to San Diego-area causes and institutions, including the San Diego State University School of Journalism and Media Studies, public broadcasting service KPBS, the AVID Center, Junior Achievement, and the Classroom of the Future Foundation. Tom Gores and his family help to support Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and in particular the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. As a result, the Gores Family Allergy center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles was formed to help provide comprehensive care and research in allergy.
Gores and his brother Alec donated $250,000 to Genesee High School in honor of Tom and Julia Joubran’s 50th wedding anniversary in 2002.
Since January 29, 2016 Tom has pledged to help raise $10 million for the city of Flint, Michigan as the lead crisis continues.