Who will take over IAC when Barry Diller retires?In early December Diller finally freed IAC from the long time grip of friend, and occasional foe, John Malone.
In doing so, Diller set up IAC to be “a long term holding for me and my family.”
All signs point to Prince Alexander Von Furstenberg, his bald, athletic, temperamental, step-son.
He is the son of Diane von Furstenberg, and Prince Egon of Furstenberg. Thus, he is a “Prince” as well, but he never uses the formal title. His parents split in 1972 just after he was born.
Diane married, or merged depending on your point of view, with Barry Diller in 2001.
Diller is said to be gay, but decided to marry Von Furstenberg because he loved her family. A family friend told Nick Denton at Valleywag, Diller “really loves Alex,” and wanted him as a son-in-law.
So that’s the backstory. Who is Alex Von Furstenberg?
Most reports about Alex portray him as an energetic jock type. One longtime friend told the New York Post, “He’s the first guy to dive off a huge cliff into the ocean, and he’s always moving. He literally never stands still.”
He lives a laid back California life. He wakes at 6 AM most days to follow the markets, then knocks off work at 2 PM to go kite surfing. Alex loves Kiteboarding. In a WSJ story that describes Alex as an “extreme kiteboarder,” he waxes poetic:
“When you’re in 25 knots of wind and in 15-foot waves, nothing can compare. It’s like car racing. Only there’s no fumes, no noise. You’re one with nature, and pushing yourself to the max.”
Alex’s two children from a previous marriage are with him on the weekends. He travels to Manhattan once a month, says the Post.
The Reggie Miller Scandal
What Von Furstenberg is best known for, at least online and in the press, is an embarrassing episode involving his fiancee, model Ali Kay, and retired NBA great Reggie Miller.
Miller and Kay met in a supermarket in Malibu and started flirting. They exchanged phone numbers and texted each other 50 times in a six hour span, TMZ reported. Kay sent Miller two racy pictures of herself — one in a skimpy bathing suit, and one in bed (pictured on the right.)
When Von Furstenberg found out about the flirting, he flipped out. Miller says Von Furstenberg hired private investigators to tail him. Miller also says Alex was harassing his friends.
His jealousy and harassment peaked when he paid for a small plane to fly over southern California beaches with a sign that read, “Reggie Miller Stop Pursuing Married Women.”
Eventually, Von Furstenberg gave up his attack on Miller.
Later on, his mother Diane dismissed the whole episode telling a New York Post reporter, “Alex lives from his gut. The whole family is like that. They’re wild children, but they’ve grown up.”
So what is his business background?
While this ugly episode gets the most play online, his business acumen is rarely mentioned outside of his own website.
Von Furstenberg is the Chief Investment Officer of Arrow Capital, a New York based investment firm focused on public equities.
“Mal Serure — co-manager of the $425 million fund, along with Alexander von Fürstenberg, the son of fashion icon Diane von Fürstenberg — has been instrumental in Arrow Capital’s results, as well as in building the firm.”
Can he take over IAC?
Von Furstenberg has been on IAC’s board since 2008. (Previously, his mother was on the board.)
So, clearly, he has some understanding of IAC. However, after reading about Von Furstenberg, we’d be stunned if he was really given the reins to IAC. So far, we’ve read nothing to suggest he’d be able to handle running the company.
But, he’s young. And now that IAC is basically all Diller’s, Von Furstenberg can be groomed to take over.
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