OC’s Wealthiest 2023: William Wang

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WILLIAM WANG
CO-FOUNDER, CEO
VIZIO INC.

THE MONEY: Runs one of Orange County’s best-known brands, maker of flat-panel smart TVs, sound bars and other products. The Irvine-based company (NYSE: VZIO) went public in 2021, now valued around $1.4 billion. Shares are off about 8% from a year ago.

THE NUMBERS: Vizio is the largest U.S.-based flat-panel TV maker, trails only Samsung Electronics Co. among sales in the country. Last year, Vizio brought in over $1.9 billion in revenue.

GROWING BUSINESS: Ad-software business is Vizio’s fastest-growing business unit, bringing in $478 million last year, up from $309 million in 2021. Growth speaks “to the progress we have made increasing awareness of Vizio as a skilled destination for advertisers to reach viewers,” Wang said in May. “By our measure, we’ll continue to gain share within connected TV, one of the fastest-growing areas of advertising marketplace.”

IN HIS WORDS: “Twenty years ago, I embarked on a journey to make quality home entertainment accessible to everyone,” Wang said in a 2022 letter to shareholders. “I started Vizio with a handful of employees and the funds from a second mortgage on my home. In our early years, we cultivated supplier and retail partner relationships to create an efficient business model that would allow us to deliver exceptional value to American consumers. Today, this core principle remains at the heart of everything we do.”

ESTIMATE: Voting power at Vizio is 87%, due to ownership of all the company’s Class B shares. While company’s stock is down, the Business Journal has not dropped the estimate of his wealth by a similar figure, given his controlling interest in the business, and factoring in money he’s likely taken out of the company since its founding, plus other assets.

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