Business - December 13, 2019

Meet Jimmy John Liautaud, a Man Who has Risen from a Borrower to a Multi- Billionaire

Jimmy John Liautaud was born in 1964, and he is the founder of Jimmy John’s. In the year 2018, he was among the most wealthy people in the world. His wealth is estimated to be $1.7 billion. Liutaud was born and raised in Illinois in January 1964. His father was an entrepreneur and a businessman while his mother was a teacher. He was the second born in a family of four children. Liautaud attended school at a private school in Illinois. Later, he was admitted to Eastern Illinois University, but he left to start his business.

After he graduated from secondary school back in the year 1982, his loving father loaned him $25,000 to start a business. His father gave him a condition that if the business failed, Liautaud would have to join the United States Army. In exchange, his father would receive a 48 percent share of the company. Initially, Liautaud wanted to launch a hot dog restaurant. However, after paying visits to several such restaurants, he realized that the money he had was not enough to venture into such a business.

After numerous visits to several restaurants, Liautaud decided to venture into the sandwich business. In the year 1983, he opened his shop in Illinois. To boost his sales, he decided to deliver his products to university student dormitories. As the first year was ending, the business was making good progress. Liautaud started to realize some profits. In the second year of operation, Liautaud bought back the 48 percent shareholding from his father. His business grew steadily, and he was now capable of opening his second and third shops in the following years.

Today, the company that Liautaud launched 35 years ago is making more than $2 billion in revenue from more than 2,800 branches. Liautaud no longer runs the business after selling a 65 percent stake of the business to Roark Capital. Roark Capital is a private equity company based in Atlanta. Liautaud retained the remaining 35 percent shareholding, which is about $0.7 of the total assets of the company. 

Liautaud has had in the past dealt with many challenges in life. At his young age, life was not easy. His parents were not wealthy, and he could hardly get some basic requirements that a child of his age could want. But all these challenges could not prevent him from becoming who he is today. Liautaud has been humble in his life. He stepped down from being the president of a giant company to head a single department, that is, the food and culture department. As the company grew, managers were promoted to become his executives. Liautaud’s journey has not been a walk in the park. It has taken determination to be where he is today.

When Liautaud was asked in an interview about his success in the business sector, he said that his greatest support came from his employees. Despite his status in his organizations and society, he is humble enough to respect his junior staff and accord them the trust that they deserve. He acknowledges that without their support, he could probably not have achieved most of his career goals. By trusting them, he can delegate managerial duties to responsible employees, who run his business operations with the utmost professionalism.

Check out Jimmy John Liautaud’s Facebook Page.

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