Robert L. Johnson


Robert L. Johnson is the Founder and Chairman of The RLJ Companies, an innovative business network that owns or holds interests in a diverse portfolio of companies including RLJ Credit Opportunity Fund. Prior to forming The RLJ Companies, Mr. Johnson was Founder and Chairman of Black Entertainment Television (BET), the nation's first and leading television network providing quality entertainment, music, news, sports and public affairs programming for the African American audience. Under Mr. Johnson's leadership, BET became the first African American owned company publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange. In 2001, Mr. Johnson sold BET to Viacom for approximately $3 billion and remained the Chief Executive Officer through 2006. In July 2007, Mr. Johnson was named by USA Today as one of the 25 most influential business leaders of the past 25 years.

Currently, Mr. Johnson serves on the following boards:

  • KB Home
  • Lowe's Companies, Inc.
  • NBA Board of Governors
  • Strayer Education
  • Deutsche Bank Advisory Committee
  • Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • The Business Council

Mr. Johnson holds a bachelor's degree in social studies from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.