IMG Worldwide CEO Ted Forstmann Dies

2:12 PM PST 11/20/2011 by Georg Szalai

The Wall Street legend, 71, had battled with brain cancer, but continued to lead the talent management firm that has worked with sports, fashion and other stars, including Justin Timberlake, Tyra Banks and Tiger Woods.

NEW YORK - IMG Worldwide, the talent management and TV production firm that has worked with such sports, fashion and other stars as Justin Timberlake, Tyra Banks, Tiger Woods, Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins and Roger Federer, said Sunday that its chairman and CEO Theodore "Ted" Forstmann has died after a battle against brain cancer.

Forstmann, a Wall Street legend who invested in several media businesses over the year, was 71.

He had led IMG since buying the company in 2004. During that time, former HBO head and now Starz CEO Chris Albrecht joined the agency for a year to head up its global media business.

Recently, long-time Forstmann friend Michael Ovitz tried to take over IMG amid Forstmann's battle with cancer, leading to Ovitz's ouster from the company's board. In recent years, former Yahoo and Warner Bros. boss Terry Semel was also reportedly looking at taking over the company.

Before IMG, Forstmann had made a name for himself as founder and head of investment firm Forstmann Little & Co. IMG said that his firm made 31 acquisitions and investments under his leadership, including a 1984 leveraged buyout of Dr. Pepper, which at the time was the largest ever, and returned more than $15 billion to its investors.

Media investments during that time include sports and entertainment trading cards firm The Topps Co., later acquired by former Walt Disney boss Michael Eisner, publishing and Internet firm Ziff Davis, as well as radio station group Citadel Broadcasting.

Forstmann is survived by his two sons Siya and Everest. His relationships over the years included one with Princess Diana. He was also romantically linked to Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi, according to Wikipedia.

IMG didn't immediately name a replacement for the CEO and chairman roles.

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