He’s famous as a successful investor, inspiriting author, and TV personality. You maybe ignore that he’s a competitor in Ferrari races too. I’m talking about Robert Herjavec: one of the greatest Canadian businessmen.
He’s the leader and founder of the Herjavec Group: a fast-growing IT and technology companies, a global leader in cybersecurity.
That’s the main source of income of this great entrepreneur, which net worth this year is about 200 million dollars. You’ve seen him on the screen as a participant both in Canadian CBC Dragon’s Den and ABC’s Shark Tank, the US version of the program.
He wrote several books containing successful business advices: bestsellers like “Driven” (2010), “The will to win” () and “You don’t need to be a Shark” to say some.
“Today we do what others won’t, so that tomorrow we can accomplish what others can’t.”
If you agree with this Herjavec’s statement (which I cited from his Official Website https://robertherjavec.com/about/) and want to know something more about his life, you should keep on reading. Here we’re going to talk about his appearances in Dragon’s Den and Shark’s Tank, his total assets, and his fascinating wife Kym.
Early life and Business
Born in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on September 14 1962. He was raised in a farm by his grandmother, and as his uncle Vladimir encouraged his family to escape the Communist regime, they move to North America in 1970, with just 20$ in their pocket. After arriving in Halifax, Nova Scotia, they establish in the basement of a friend’s house in Toronto.
His father, which Herjavec says was a really tough man, worked as a farmer for 76$ a week, while a travelling salesman persuaded his mother to buy a vacuum cleaner for 500$.
He graduated in English Literature and political sciences in 1984 from the University of Toronto. Then he started working in film production as an assistant director, but between productions, he had to labour for a minimum wage as a waiter, retail salesman, newspaper deliverer and even as a debt collector. His career started when he convinced the company Logiqueste to hire him as a seller for IBM mainframes emulation boards.
He offered them to work for free for six months, meanwhile, he continued waiting tables. Herjavec became Manager and after being fired in 1990, he started working at home and founded BRAK Systems, an Internet security software, which was sold in 2000 for 30,2 million dollars.
In 203 he founded the Herjavec Group, in which sales grew up from $400,000 to $200 million – and at the very beginning, they were just three employers. Now he lives in a $7.5 million mansion in Bridle Path, Toronto.
We said his family emigrated with just 20 dollars in their pocket. Herjavec himself worked hard in his youth for very little money, or even for free.
He had to learn either to speak English properly because his native language was Croatian – and ironically states on Twitter that his mother would always say he doesn’t speak well enough. Now, as CEO and founder of the Herjavec group his net worth is more than 200 million dollars.
Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank
From 2006 first season Herjavec regularly appeared on the television CBC’s Dragon’s Den, a popular reality show based on a Japanese format (The Tigers of Money) regarding investors’ business choices for secure convenient deals. He starred in the series with other businessmen such as Jim Treliving until season 6, moving to US television in 2009.
On Dragon’s Den, you can watch now great investors as Michele Romanow (who is the youngest participant of this show) and the new entry Vincenzo Guzzos .
Herjavec still enjoys his performances on Shark Tank, ABC’s franchise of the Canadian series. In a 2009 interview for the University of Toronto Magazine, he compares the two experiences and audiences, saying: “I think a mystical creature works for the Canadian market. But a shark is a mean, real, predatory animal, and that’s definitely more U.S. television. We don’t want sharks here. In fact, in Canada, I’m surprised it’s not called the puppy tank. Or the puppy farm.” According to Sharkalytics reports, Herjavec has invested 16 million dollars on Shark Tank, through 57 deals. He invested the largest amount in acquiring 50% of a company producing compressed –air motorized cars, the Zero Pollution Motors. Thanks to their sponsor, they could develop their car in an assembly plant in Hawaii, and now you can buy the car for just 10,000 dollars.
Regarding his choice to participate in a TV show, he claims that it was not a choice at all. “Somebody called. I’m on TV”, he states modestly.
But it’s just because of his works on Television that he met his future bride Kym Herjavec.
The runner, the racer, the diver… and golf
Herjavec likes car racing a lot, and is an avid rare cars collector. He also competed in the Ferrari Challenge as #007 for the Harjavec Group Racing team in the North American series, winning the Rookie of the year title in 2011. In 2012 he was selected to be the Grand Marshal at Honda Indy Toronto. “You have to stay laser-focused when driving a car over 200 miles an hour” we can read on his official website, “and the same approach is required when growing a business in today’s world of rapidly changing technology.”
Speed lover, there’s room in his garage for several Ducati motorcycles. But he enjoys playing golf as well, so that in 2019 he organized a golf course at Magna Golf Club, north of Toronto. Furthermore, he’s a professional scuba diver instructor and a serious devote runner. He competed in Miami Marathon in 2010 and in New York’s one the following year.
His first wife Diane Plese
Robert Herjavec married the optometrist Diane Plese in 1990. They shared Croatian roots and got married in 1990 in a Croatian church in Ontario, Canada. They met each other in 1988, while he went to her clinic for an eye appointment. She says she immediately fell in love with him, admiring his enthusiasm for life. They gave birth to three kids: Caprice, Skye and Brendan. Today, Caprice is 23 years old, Skye is 24 and Brendan, the eldest is 26.
His growing business became difficult to manage and, after a relational crisis, the couple ended up separating in 2014. Anyway, they always refused to share the precise reasons for their separation with the public. In 2015, after 16 years of marriage, they filed for divorce. As he confesses to People Magazine, he suffered terribly these events at the point to consider suicide. Just in the following year, Herjavic would have met his new wife for the first time.
Who is Herjavec’s wife Kym?
Kym Johnson is an Australian professional dancer. He starred in the first three seasons of Australia’s Dancing with the Stars. She was born in Sidney on August 4 1976. In 2001 she retired from competitive ballroom contests, but she continued performing on the stage, participating in important events around the world, and even at Elton John’s 50th birthday party. She moved to American television in 2006, dancing for the US franchise of Dancing with the Stars until 2015, participating still at an Australian show as a judge for two years, from 2013 to 2015.
Aside from her ballroom career, we must say that she’s also an author, writing “The 5-6-7-8 Diet: The 14-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss”(2016). And she’s an actress too, acting in IMBd productions such as “Love Alaska” and “Sharknado 4”.
She first met Robert Herjavec as a professional partner on the stage of the 20th season of Dancing with the Stars. They gained the 6yh place after being eliminated on May 5 2015. They became engaged on February 27 2016 and then married on July 31 in L.A.
She’s 14 years younger than her husband, and while seeing them joking and smiling we can rely on them saying that they feel like they’ve known each other forever. Now they’re parents of Hudson and Heaven: two adorable twin brothers born in April 2018.