The tech world responds in shock today at the news that dotcom pioneer, Halsey Minor, has filed for bankruptcy. Once worth nearly $1 billion, Minor has filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy to discharge approximately $100 million in debt. Best known as the founder of CNET, Minor is now worth less than half of what he owes. Though a whiz in the technology world, Minor’s endeavors in real estate and other business ventures are what led him to his situation today.
Minor’s Money Management Strategy
In 2008, Halsey Minor was at the top of the tech world, selling CNET to CBS for $1.8 billion. It’s estimated that Minor was able to pocket $200 million from that deal alone. In 2007, Minor also sold technology to Google that would later become Google Voice. That deal was worth $65 million. So how did all of that money disappear and lead to a Chapter 7 bankruptcy?
It all began when Minor switched his business focus to real estate. While it seemed like a wise investment at the time, Minor’s purchase of Carter’s Grove Plantation would later mark the beginning of his money management struggles. The 400-plus acre estate cost $15.3 million.
Money management concerns continued to arise as Halsey Minor struggled with his Los Angeles Mansion, Le Petit Trianon, Charlottesville Landmark Hotel, and Sotheby’s. Repeated failed endeavors in real estate and fine art would eventually take their toll on Minor’s financial profile, no matter how powerful his money management was elsewhere. Now the tech legend is struggling to pay back his creditors. Minor filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in San Francisco, but the case was later transferred to Virginia.
As jarring as Minor’s bankruptcy filing is, it isn’t the first time that Minor has had money management challenges. In 1990, when Minor was first trying to launch CNET, he had over $40,000 in personal debt on his credit cards. However, a $2.5 million investment from Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, would revitalize CNET and provide the opportunity for the tech mogul to succeed.