Billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban says he is leaving “Shark Tank” after the popular ABC show’s next season wraps up, ending an over 10-year-long tenure during which he’s invested at least $29 million in at least 85 companies whose founders appeared on the show.
Cuban announced the departure in a recent episode of the “All The Smoke” podcast, telling hosts and ex-NBA players Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson “it’s time.”
The billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner told Forbes on Monday he had nothing to add in addition to his comments on the podcast, and that he’s “still got a whole new season to shoot!”
Cuban’s withdrawal from the show hasn’t been confirmed by ABC.
Cuban told “All The Smoke” after years of investing in startups on the show, he’s slightly down on a cash basis, but the value of many of his investments are still doing well, name-dropping companies he’s invested in like BeatBox Beverages and Dude Wipes.
Cuban told Barnes and Jackson he loves the show “because it sends the message the American dream is alive and well,” adding that he feels the show and its entrepreneurial hosts have trained generations of entrepreneurs.
We estimate Cuban’s net worth at $6.2 billion, ranking him within the top 500 wealthiest people in the world. Cuban, who sold Broadcast.com for $5.7 billion in 1999, makes his money through varying ownership stakes in sectors including sports, media and technology.
Cuban joined “Shark Tank” as a guest during season two and became a regular on the show in season three. The long-running show, now in its fifteenth season, gives up-and-coming entrepreneurs a chance to pitch their businesses and products to five “Sharks,” accomplished entrepreneurs who can then make investments in the businesses or turn them down. Cuban told Forbes last year he was considering leaving “Shark Tank,” saying he wasn’t worried about the show’s longevity and that it would “survive fine without me.” The billionaire will have plenty to keep him busy once he exits the show, as he continues on as the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and the cofounder of Cost Plus Drugs among other business ventures. Cuban co-founded Cost Plus Drugs last year, which offers low prescription drug prices amid rising costs.
Some of the deals struck between contestants and sharks are ultimately called off, or their terms are changed significantly after taping, Forbes reported earlier this year. Cuban said these changes are often because of new information that arises during the sharks’ due diligence process, or due to entrepreneurs who “just came for the commercial.”
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