Shahid “Shad” Khan (born July 18, 1950) is a Pakistani American billionaire businessman. Khan is the CEO and owner of Flex-N-Gate, a U.S. automobile OEM manufacturer. Khan is the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League (NFL), Fulham F.C. of the English Football League Championship, and professional wrestling promotion All Elite Wrestling (AEW) where he is lead investor.
Khan was featured on the front cover of Forbes magazine in 2012, associating him as the face of the American Dream. As of October 2019, Khan’s net worth is $7.9 billion. He is ranked 61st in the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, and is overall the 224th wealthiest person in the world. He is also the richest person of Pakistani origin.
Khan was born in Lahore, Pakistan, to a middle-class family who was involved in the construction industry. His mother (now retired) was a professor of mathematics.He moved to the United States in 1967 at age 16 to study at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.When he went to the United States, he spent his first night in a $2/night room at the University YMCA and his first job was washing dishes for $1.20 an hour. He joined the Beta Theta Pi fraternity at the school. He graduated from the UIUC College of Engineering with a BSc in Industrial Engineering in 1971. He later was awarded the Mechanical Science and Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999.
Khan worked at the automotive manufacturing company Flex-N-Gate Corporation while attending the University of Illinois. When he graduated he was hired as the engineering director for the company. In 1978, he started Bumper Works, which made car bumpers for customized pickup trucks and body shop repairs. The transaction involved a $50,000 loan from the Small Business Administration and $16,000 of his savings.
In 1980, he bought Flex-N-Gate from his former employer Charles Gleason Butzow, bringing Bumper Works into the fold. Khan grew the company so that it supplied bumpers for the Big Three automakers. In 1984, he began supplying a small number of bumpers for Toyota pickups. By 1987 it was the sole supplier for Toyota pickups and by 1989 it was the sole supplier for the entire Toyota line in the United States. Adopting The Toyota Way increased company efficiency and ability to change its manufacturing process within a few minutes. Since then, the company has grown from $17 million in sales to an estimated $2 billion in 2010.
By 2011, Flex-N-Gate had 12,450 employees and 48 manufacturing plants in the United States and several other countries and in 2017 had a revenue of $7.5 billion and was ranked 49th largest private USA company.
In May 2012, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined Flex-N-Gate $57,000 for health violations at its Urbana plant. Before the 2012 NFL Draft, the United Automobile Workers (UAW) and other environmentalist groups organized campaign for several accusations against Flex-N-Gate and Khan.
Khan’s first attempt to purchase a National Football League team came on February 11, 2010, when he entered into an agreement to acquire 60% of the then-St. Louis Rams from Chip Rosenbloom and Lucia Rodriguez, subject to approval by other NFL owners. However, Stan Kroenke, the minority shareholder of the Rams, ultimately exercised a clause in his ownership agreement to match any proposed bid.
Khan has received a number of awards from the University of Illinois, including a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999 from the Department of Mechanical Science and Industrial Engineering, the Alumni Award for Distinguished Service in 2006 from the College of Engineering, and (with his wife, Ann Carlson) the Distinguished Service Award in 2005 from the University of Illinois Alumni Association.
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