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 founding member and a former president of Jimmy John’s company. In the year 2018, he was among the most wealthy people in the world. His wealth is estimated to be $ 1.7 billion. Jimmy 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 2nd born in a family of 4 children. Jimmy schooled 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, Jimmy John Liautaud could join the United States army. His father was good enough to offer the loan. In exchange, his father was to take a 48 % shareholding in the company. Initially, Jimmy 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, Jimmy John decided to venture into a sandwich business. In the year 1983, he opened his shop in Illinois. This location was not good for his business. 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. Jimmy started to realize some profits. In the second year of operation, Jimmy was able to buy back the 48 % shareholding from his father. His business grew steadily, and he was now capable of opening his 2nd and 3rd shops in the following years.

In the year 1988, Jimmy John Liautaud met Jamie, who was a pizza franchise. Jamie helped Jimmy take his sandwich business to high heights. Today the company that Jimmy launched 35 years ago is making more than $ 2 billion in revenue from more than 2800 branches. Jimmy John no longer runs the business after selling a 65 % stake of the business to Roark Capital. Roark Capital is a private equity company based in Atlanta. Jimmy John retained the remaining 35 % shareholding, which is about $ 0.7 of the total assets of the company.

Jimmy John 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. Jimmy John 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. Jimmy’s journey has not been a walk in the park. It has taken determination to be where he is today.

When Jimmy John 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.

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