Brent Hoberman is a truly inspirational speaker. His belief that entrepreneurs need to be passionate about their industry to succeed resonates with individuals at all stages of the business building process.
It is testament to Brent Hobermans' creativity and business acumen that just about everyone has heard of his first company, the travel and leisure giant lastminute.com. Inspired by his father and grandfathers success as entrepreneurs, he followed his dream and worked hard to achieve his goals.
Brent Hoberman was born in South Africa on 25th November 1968. He attended Eton College before studying at Oxford University's New College for an MA in French and German literature.
Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox founded lastminute.com in 1998. At this point in time the .com boom was in full swing and their business became very successful very quickly. Specialising in late deals for hotels, transport tickets, restaurants and tickets for performances and attractions, lastminute.com appealed to bargain-seeking shoppers of all ages and interests. The concept of the business truly fitted with Hobermans key belief that an entrepreneurs business should meet a need which the entrepreneur can understand.
lastminute.com continued to be extremely popular with canny shoppers and in March 2000, the company floated on the London Stock Exchange, attracting very high profile investors including BAA, Sony and Mitsubishi. With new offices in Munich, Paris and Stockholm and having invested in several supplementary businesses, lastminute.com seemed unstoppable and shares were in high demand.
In late 2000 and 2001, the .com bubble burst, consigning many internet companies to the history books. lastminute.com managed to survive the bust under the continued guidance of Hoberman and Fox, though these were tough times. In 2003, Fox left her position as managing director. Hoberman remained as CEO and was present in 2005, when the company was acquired for $1.1 billion by Sabre Holdings Travelocity Europe. Hoberman continued as CEO of lastminute.com until early 2006 and remained as Chief Strategic Officer and Chairman until January 2007.
After leaving lastminute.com, Hoberman went on to set up another internet business, this time in the home decoration industry. mydeco.com allows customers to design their ideal living spaces in 3D online, therefor helping them to choose from the many products available on the site.
Hoberman has taken on several roles outside of his own businesses. He is a non-executive director of Guardian Media Group and works for the University of the Arts in London as a Governor. He has invested in several online companies. These include erepublik, Viagogo, academia.edu and wayn.com. In 2009, Hoberman and several other investors co-founded PROfounders, a project through which investment can be provided to start up internet companies.
Hoberman has been a member of The Business Council for Britain since 2009.
Hoberman and his wife Genevieve have three children, two girls and one boy. They live in central London.
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