Jay Penske

Jay Penske is an American media and publishing entrepreneur.

Jay Penske
ResidenceLos Angeles, California
Alma materWharton School of the University of Pennsylvania (B.S.)
  • Entrepreneur
  • Media owner/publisher
  • Racer
  • Philanthropist
  • Formula E owner (majority)
Net worth U.S. $800 million (2015 estimate)[1]
Elaine Irwin (m. 2011)
Parent(s)Kathy Penske (mother)
Roger Penske (father)
WebsitePenske Media
Dragon Racing

Early life and education

Born in New York City, New York, Penske is the youngest son of Kathy, an English teacher and Roger Penske, founder of the automotive conglomerate Penske Corporation and a former race car driver. Penske graduated from high school at St. Mary's Preparatory, in the Detroit suburb of Orchard Lake Village in Michigan, after having attended Cranbrook and Lawrenceville. At St. Mary's, Penske was named All-League, All-State, All-American,[2] and Player of the Year by USA Today in lacrosse. Penske also played hockey and earned All-Region and All-State honors.[3] In 1997, he set the school records for the most goals, assists, and total points in lacrosse in the school's history, after which they retired his number in the school gymnasium.[4] During his final season of lacrosse Penske broke the record, and continues to hold the all-time high school record for points in a single season, breaking Michael Powell's record of 194 points with 202 points in a single season. Penske remains the only player in lacrosse history to average more than 10 points per game, and break the 200-point barrier in a single season.[5]

Penske graduated from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School[3] with a Bachelor of Science in Management of Information Systems and Finance.[6] He is on the board of the Entrepreneurial School at the Wharton School as of 2007,[6] and is also a member of the University of Pennsylvania Library's Board of Directors.[7]


Media and publishing

Penske is the Chairman and CEO of Penske Media Corporation (PMC).[8] Penske Media Corporation is a digital media and publishing company that owns and operates numerous media brands, data services, and live events. In 2004, Penske founded Penske Media Corporation a digital media company that initially focused on building software tools for media brands and communities. A few years later PMC began creating, and building digital media and publishing brands, and acquiring troubled traditional print media companies. PMC's initial owned and operated brands included OnCars.com, Mail.com, MovieLine.com and the gadget focused BGR.com.[9]

PMC in 2008 acquired Deadline Hollywood,.[10] Penske quickly turned this one-woman blog to a leading digital platform that covers the business of the entertainment industry. After the success of Deadline.com, PMC invested more deeply into the business of entertainment, and acquired the struggling "bible" of the entertainment industry Variety.com, and Variety from RELX Group.[11]

Then in 2014 Penske Media acquired Fairchild Publishing from Condé Nast for $100 million, this was the first large asset sale ever made in Condé Nast history, and an expansion by Penske into the retail-fashion-beauty industries. As part of the Fairchild acquisition PMC acquired the WWD business, in addition to FN, Menswear, M Magazine, Beauty Inc and Fairchild's large live event business. The Fairchild business was formerly sold to Condé Nast by Disney in 1999 for $650 million.[12]

In 2017 Penske acquired control of Rolling Stone from Jann Wenner for approximately $110 million, the Rolling Stone brand and business had just celebrated its 50th anniversary.[13]

Penske was also formerly the founder and CEO of Mail.com, the email and portal which rose to become the 6th largest email platform in world, when PMC sold to the German media company United Internet for approximately €100Million in 2010.[14] In addition he also co-founded and was Chairman of Firefly Mobile, Inc., a wireless company that developed the Firefly mobile phone for children, and other youth targeted mobile products.[6] The Firefly phone won the prestigious 2006 CES Innovation Award, presented by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).[15] Penske also owns Dragon Books, Ltd., a Los Angeles-based used bookstore which sells rare and collectible books which opened for business in 1999.[16]


Penske was co-owner of IndyCar Series racing team Luczo Dragon Racing, jointly with Steve Luczo, the Chairman of Seagate Technologies.[6] Raphael Matos won rookie of the year honors in 2009.[6][17] The team name is derived from Penske's love of books and business interest Dragon Books, Ltd., and his partner's last name.[18] For 2010, Penske's racing team had former Indy Lights champion Raphael Matos behind the wheel of the HP #2 car for the full Indycar Series circuit of events. In 2011, the name of the team changed to Dragon Racing, with Penske as the sole owner, and Paul Tracy was announced as the driver. In 2012 the team planned to run Lotus engines with a two-car team composed of Sébastien Bourdais and Katherine Legge. Due to issues with the Lotus engines[19] Dragon Racing switched to Chevrolet for the Indy 500.[20] Dragon Racing's drivers for the 2013 season were Sebastian Saavedra and Sébastien Bourdais.

In October 2013, Dragon Racing signed an agreement with Formula E Holdings to be the fourth franchise team to enter the new FIA Formula E Championship.[21] The team was runner-up in the 2014-15 season with drivers Jérôme d'Ambrosio (who ranked fourth), Oriol Servià, and Loïc Duval. In the 2015-16 season, d'Ambrosio was fifth and Duval eight.


Penske assists the charitable trust organization the Paley Center for Media, where he sits on the Board of Directors. Penske was added to the Paley Board in 2015 along with Yannick Bollore, Chairman and CEO, Havas and Devin Wenig, the CEO of eBay.[22] Additionally, Penske's significant support of The Library of America, the nonprofit publisher of classic American literature was realized in 2010, when Penske gave the gift of H. L. Mencken's Prejudices: First, Second, and Third Series, which keeps classics in print permanently to preserve America's literary heritage.[23] Furthermore, Penske's racing team, Dragon Racing has donated over $250,000 of its race proceeds[24]—to benefit the charities and non-profit organizations founded by Baron Davis, Tony Dungy,[25] John Elway,[26] Wayne Gretzky, Marcus Allen, Jackson Browne, Brandi Chastain, Ronnie Lott, Jonny Moseley, Chris Mullin, Kerri Walsh and Kristi Yamaguchi.[27]

Recognition and awards

Under Penske's leadership, PMC was awarded as one of North America's top 100 Private Companies.[28] Penske was additionally recognized repeatedly as both a 30 Under 30 and Under 40 Success Story.[29] Penske was also added to VanityFair's New Establishment list,[30] and in 2010 Vanity Fair named Penske one of the 10 best dressed men in the world in their "2010 International Best-Dressed List".[31] Additionally Penske has been named a Vice Chair of the American Film Institute (AFI) in 2014, and in 2015 Penske was named by the NY Observer newspaper as one of the 25 most powerful people in Los Angeles.[32]

Racing results

Formula E results

Year Chassis Tyres No. Drivers 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Points T.C.
2014–15 Spark-Renault SRT 01E M BEI PUT PDE BNA MIA LBH MON BER MSC LON 171 2nd
6 Oriol Servià 7 7 9 9
Loïc Duval 7 9 Ret 3 15 8 3
7 Jérôme d'Ambrosio 6 5 8 14 4 6 5 1 11 2 2
2015–16 Spark-Venturi VM200-FE-01 M BEI PUT PDE BNA MEX LBH PAR BER LON 143* 3rd*
6 Loïc Duval 4 16† 4 6 4 8 Ret Ret Ret 4
7 Jérôme d'Ambrosio 5 14† 3 16 1 7 11 16 8 3


  1. "Jay Penske said to get $200M investment from Saudi fund". 28 February 2018.
  2. "1997 Boys' High School All-American Lacrosse Team"; ESPN; Retrieved October 25, 2007
  3. "St. Mary's Preparatory honors trio for athletic accomplishments"; April 15, 2004; The Oakland Press; Retrieved September 6, 2007
  4. Lacrosse Records; St. Mary's Preparatory; Retrieved October 18, 2007
  5. "Lacrosse Season Records:Points"; Retrieved August 22, 2014
  6. "Jay Penske hopes to follow in footsteps of famous father"; Bruce Martin; May 21, 2007; yahoo.com; Retrieved October 18, 2007
  7. "Trustees' Winter Meeting Coverage"; February 27, 2007; University of Pennsylvania; Retrieved November 10, 2007
  8. "Son Adopts Father's Passion"; May 15, 2007; The Columbus Dispatch; Retrieved November 10, 2007
  9. "PMC About Us"; Retrieved August 24, 2018
  10. Ben Fritz (2009-06-24). "Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily is sold to Mail.com". Los Angeles Times.
  11. Ben Fritz (2009-11-16). "Jay Penske betting he can beat the odds in Internet media". Los Angeles Times.
  12. Ravi Somaiya (2014-08-19). "Condé Nast to Sell Fairchild Fashion Media for $100 Million". New York Times.
  13. Sydney Ember (2017-12-20). "Rolling Stone Publisher Sells Majority Stake to Penske, Owner of Variety". New York Times.
  14. Tsotsis, Alexia (September 20, 2010). "Mail.com Media Sells Mail.com To United Internet Group". TechCruchAol.
  15. Firefly Mobile (2005-11-15). "Firefly™ Phone Wins 2006 'Best of Innovations' Award From Consumer Electronics Association". MarketWired.
  16. "Another Penske Wants to Make Name at Indy"; May 25, 2007; Detroit Free Press; Retrieved November 10, 2007
  17. Dave Lewandowski (2009-12-08). "Journey partially fulfilled". IndyCar.
  18. "Entry List Examination"; IndyCar; Retrieved October 24, 2007
  19. Glendenning, Mark (May 9, 2012). "Dragon Racing sues Lotus over engine deal". Autosport.com.
  20. Glendenning, Mark (May 17, 2012). "Dragon's switch to Chevrolet engines approved by IndyCar". Autosport.com.
  21. Mike Szostech. "Dragon Racing joins FIA Formula E Championship". My Electric Car Forums. Retrieved 3 October 2013.
  22. "Board Of Paley Center for Media"; Paley Center for Media; Retrieved November 20, 2015
  23. "The Library of America--Mencken; May 14, 2010; Library of America; Retrieved January 9, 2015
  24. "Pit Notes"; May 17, 2007; USA Today; Retrieved November 10, 2007
  25. "NFL"; Tony Dungy; Retrieved October 25, 2007
  26. "John Elway"; John Elway; Retrieved October 24, 2007
  27. "The Associated Press--NBC; May 24, 2007; Associated Press; Retrieved October 23, 2007
  28. "Top 100 List" Archived 2013-09-02 at the Wayback Machine; Retrieved May 24, 2008
  29. "Young Entrepreneur; November 6, 2005; Wharton School of Business; Retrieved August 18, 2014
  30. Matt Pressman (2009-10-08). "The Next Establishment". Condenast.
  31. VF Style Section. "The 2010 International Best-Dressed List". Condenast.
  32. Oliver Jones (2015-07-07). "LA's Most Powerful 25 People". Observer.
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