Name: Robert Earl
Birth date: 29 May 1951
Organization: Planet Hollywood
Designation: CEO and Founder
Education: Graduated from University of Surrey with honors degree in Hotel and Catering Management 1979
Robert, Earl, chief executive officer, Planet Hollywood.
Robert Earl founded Planet Hollywood in 1991. Earl also is co-chairman of BHM Gaming Opportunities, the owner of the former Alladdin Casino hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Planet Hollywood owns a global chain of 20 show-business-themed restaurants located primarily in tourist hot spots.
Early Career Path
In 1977, Mr. Earl founded President Entertainment, a company that developed theme restaurants. Under Mr. Earl's leadership, over the next ten years, President Entertainment grew to a $120 million enterprise. In 1987, Mr. Earl sold President Entertainment to Pleasurama PLC ('Pleasurama') and joined the Pleasurama management team, where he assumed responsibility for the management of another theme restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe PLC ('Hard Rock Cafe'). During his five years in charge of Hard Rock Cafe, Mr. Earl pioneered its expansion from seven to twenty-two units while substantially increasing its profitability. In 1993, Mr. Earl resigned from Hard Rock Cafe to concentrate full time on running Planet Hollywood. He serves as Chairman of ECE, S.A. de C.V. Since November 1998, Mr. Earl has been Chairman of the board of directors of Planet Hollywood. He served as Co-Chairman and Director of OpBiz, a subsidiary of Bh Re Llc until January 2009. He has been Director of BUCA, Inc. since September 2008. He has been a Director of Planet Hollywood International Inc. since 1991. Mr. Earl served as Executive Director of SMI Corp. Ltd. (formerly known as Star East Holdings Ltd.) since November, 2000. Mr. Earl’s contributions to the restaurant industry have been acknowledged through many awards and accolades including the very prestigious Time Magazine’s 'The most influential People in America 'in 1997.
Birth of Planet Hollywood
Mr. Robert Ian Earl opened his first Planet Hollywood restaurant with partners like Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger in New York 1991. This was followed with the new opening in locations across the world including London's West End, Kuwait, Cancun in Mexico and Las Vegas. He has over 31years experience in the restaurant industry. Mr Robert Earl wants to bring theme restaurants to "another level". Allowing customers to immerse in the feel of being in Hollywood.
In 1999, Planet Hollywood went bankrupt and numerous restaurants were closed down. They only kept going in a few of its original locations with the help of new investors from Saudi Arabia who made a relatively modest investment in the company. After the crisis faced, they learned:
- Celebrity isn’t enough. ‘These bozos thought, cynically, it was enough to trade on their Hollywood backgrounds. Bad move, fellas,’ wrote Malcolm Gluck.
- Word-of-mouth is crucial. Word-of-mouth is more important than advertising and media exposure when it comes to eating out.
- The theme should be tied to the core product. Food, rather than an abstract notion of ‘Hollywood’, should have been the theme.
However, in 2001, Planet Hollywood filed for bankruptcy again. This round was due to the downturn in in tourism after the terrorist attack. The company said it filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida, and such measures will enable all restaurants to stay open for business. Through that, Planet Hollywood stressed it was back on the road to profitability focusing on core restaurants in major tourist locations, but reluctance in tourist travel has proved costly.
But Mr. Earl was determined to eradicate the sting of that collapse, which was memorialized in headlines like “Rocky K-O’d” and “Arnold Terminated.” The name Planet Hollywood may still be shorthand for a cultural and financial bubble. But Mr. Earl, who lost more than $1 billion on the way down, has managed to retain control of the company, now a much slimmer, privately held chain of a dozen or so restaurants.
The real embodiment of his redemption, however, is taking shape in the hulking form of a shiny new Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort on the site of the old Aladdin casino in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip.
The casino’s official opening is slated for the weekend of Nov. 16. Mr. Earl is overseeing final renovations that include, among the 2,500 rooms, penthouses named after celebrities who will occupy their namesake lairs while in town, but which the rest of us can inhabit for as little as $599 a night.
“I can’t abide by failure,” Mr. Earl, 56, who is known among his friends and employees for his high energy and boldly hued shirts and socks, said in an interview.
Mr. Earl also plans to announce a new roster of celebrities, including Pete Sampras and Roger Clemens, who will be affiliated with the casino and hotel and serve as its ambassadors. The idea is similar to one used in the original Planet Hollywood, where a lineup of 32 celebrities received stakes in the project, but this time, he said, only Bruce Willis and Mr. Stallone are co-investors. “I’ve been strongly trying to communicate to everyone that ‘this is not your old Planet,’ ” Mr. Earl said.