May 19, 2020

A roundup of Donald Trump’s business successes and failures

Donald Trump
A roundup of Donald Trump’s business successes and failures
2016 election
Jane Mulligan
5 min
A roundup of Donald Trump’s business successes and failures

Donald Trump was born into a wealthy family in 1946. He is an American businessman, television producer and Republican politician with presidential hopes.

He is worth a staggering $3.7 billion USD and has five children. He is also the Chairman and President of conglomerate company The Trump Organisation (formerly called Elizabeth Trump & Son), which he owns 100 percent of. His three eldest children (Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump and Eric Trump) all serve as Executive Vice Presidents for the company.

The Trump Organisation is located inside Trump Tower which is situated in New York City. This is the power-hub of Donald Trump’s empire and is where he completes his business ventures and investments. The Trump Organisation is involved with property management and real estate development, investing, brokerage, sales and marketing.

The Trump Organisation also owns a stake in Trump Entertainment Resorts, Inc. The company was previously known as Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts (up until 2004).
When it first launched, there were three casinos; The Trump Plaza, Trump’s Castle, and The Trump Taj Mahal. These casinos thrived in the 90s when (in 1996) the company had a market cap of more than $1billion. This made Donald Trump’s 41 percent stake worth roughly $400million. However; the casinos struggled and now, Trump Entertainment only owns one property which is The Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City. Trump Entertainment has faced a lot of problems and has declared itself bankrupt four times in 1991, 2004, 2009 and 2014. The bankruptcy of Trump’s Atlantic City casinos left him (reportedly) in more than $3.4 billion of debt and his subsequent abandonment of the site is one of his darkest ventures.

In 1988, Donald Trump purchased the Plaza Hotel in New York for more than $400million. He then spent more than $50million renovating it under the direction of his former wife Ivana Trump.

Trump owns 18 “world-class” championship golf properties and resorts under the name Trump Golf. These golfing properties are located in many different locations from Miami (which won Golf Magazines ‘Best U.S. Resort Renovation’ award) to Ireland. The golfing properties have been described as “the greatest golf portfolio ever assembled by one man”.

Trump also has his own portfolio of ‘Trump Hotels’. These hotels are located all over the world from Florida, Las Vegas, Hawaii and New York in the U.S. to Toronto in Canada and Brazil and Panama. There are even two hotels in Scotland and one in Ireland too.

“We put you at the heart of it all with exceptionally designed hotels in iconic destinations and the most stunning views. With our personal mission to deliver unparalleled service and experiences, you never have to settle for anything less than extraordinary” – Trump Hotels Website.

Donald Trump also owns Trump International Realty which is headquarted in New York City and is a brokerage firm claiming to be the world’s only global luxury real estate super-brand.

In regards to real estate, Trump never completed work on multiple buildings. Trump International Hotel and Tower in Dubai, Trump International Hotel and Tower in New Orleans and Trump International Hotel & Residence in Phoenix (in which he withdrew his association from in 2005). Trump also abandoned work on the Elite Tower, Trump Ocean Resort in Baja Mexico and Trump Tower Europe in Stuttgart, Germany.

Another part of Trumps business empire is Trump Winery. The winery is located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on 1,300 acres of land in Charlottesville, Virginia and has almost 200 varieties of French Vitis Vinifera and even a tasting room (since 2011). Trump Winery is Virginia’s biggest vineyard and the largest Vinifera vineyard on the East Coast of the states. The winery opened a 45-room boutique luxury hotel within the vineyard in 2015, spanning 26,000 square-foot named the Albemarle Estate.

“We pride ourselves on creating the finest terroir-driven sparkling, white, and red wines, which have won numerous national and international medals and best-in-class designations”.

Trump Model Management is a modelling agency founded by Trump. Donald Trump is known to love beauty pageants and his production company produces Miss USA and Pageant Place pageants.

Donald Trump even has his own eau de toilette spray (launched in 2012) that is sold in numerous Macy stores across the U.S.

Trump also owns a few lesser-known companies such as:

  • Sentient Jets (also known as Trump Jets) which provides private jets to clients
  • Trump Productions (an American TV production company founded in 2004)


Trump has also had his fair share of business disasters such as:

  • (travel search engine) The website was only in business for one year.
  • Trump Ice (bottled water brand) This was a gimmick brand created through the American Apprentice TV show. It can now no longer be bought in the stores it was known to be stocked in and the website is no longer available. Trump will also no longer be featured on NBCs Celebrity Apprentice because of his controversial comments that he has made.
  • Trump Streak (Launched in 2007 and was only in business for one year).
  • Trump Airlines (Launched in 1989 and was only in business for roughly four years).
  • Trump Vodka (Vodka brand that was in business for just five years).
  • Trump Mortgage (Active for just one and a half years after launching in 2006).
  • Trump: The Game (This was Trumps version of Monopoly and was only in business for one year).
  • Trump Magazine (A magazine launched in 2007 and shutting down just two years later).


And many more.


Image: scarletsails / Getty

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Jun 13, 2021

Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl

Kate Birch
5 min
Former CMO for IBM Americas Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl. Maria talks about her new role and her leadership style

Former Chief Marketing Officer for IBM Americas, and an IBM veteran of more than 25 years, Maria Bartolome Winans was recently named CMO for Kyndryl.

Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.

With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.

You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?

I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.

We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.

What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?

I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.

The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.

I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.

What does success look like to you?

I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.

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