H. Wayne Huizenga

On the 29th of February Clarence Montague presented a detailed analysis of the H. Wayne Huizenga, President, Founder and CEO of Waste Management Inc., Blockbuster Video, and Auto Nation Clarence analyzed Mr. Huizenga’s entire life to include his achievements, failures, and key attributes. The highlights from Lauren’s presentation follow:


Born in 1937 son of 2nd generation Dutch Americans
Wayne’s grandfather owned an independent trash hauling company in Chicago stressed that “working for somebody else never amounted to anything.” “You have to be an entrepreneur”
Wayne’s father built homes and his mother provided the interior decoration
As a child in Chicago Wayne attended a private Dutch school and made decent grades
His entire family was self employed
Wayne’s parents had marital problems that caused Wayne to occasionally act out
He had a single minded intensity but was prone to occasional emotional outbursts
Wayne started operating a bulldozer at age 14 for his father’s construction business
Moved to Fort Lauderdale FL at the age of 15
Wayne’s parents divorced in 1954 and remarried in 1978
He attended Pine Crest High School and earned decent grades
He played football and was elected senior class treasurer
College Years

Enrolled in Calvin College (religious school) in Grand Rapids Michigan in 1976
Dropped out of college after 3 semesters
Enlisted in the Army reserves in 1959
Marital Life

Married 1st wife in 1960 (childhood sweetheart) Divorced in 1966
Married 2nd wife in 1972
Waste Management Intl

In 1960 Wayne went to work for Pompano Carting (trash company)
In 1962 he bought his own truck and $500 worth of clients from Wilbur Portor, owner of porters rubbish services
Wayne began to buy out competition and consolidate routes in Fort Lauderdale
1970 Wayne merged is FL business with a relative’s trash company in Chicago
1982 over 100 acquisitions later WMI was the largest waste management company in the world – resigned as president in 1984

1987 seeing a potential star Wayne raised $18 mil to buy out a small video store with 8 stores and 11 franchises
Using the same formula as WMI Wayne bought up small chains throughout the country
By 1994 BB grew to 3700 stores in 11countries
In 1994 Wayne sold BB to Viacom for $8.4 bil

1995 Wayne became the COB of Republic Industries Inc a waste management company
AutoNation was created by Rep. in 1981
1996 AutoNation began purchasing new car dealers and rental car dealers throughout the US
AutoNation used the megastore concept but used different names in every region
Largest auto retailer in the World
Wayne stepped down in 2003
Professional Sports

Wayne was the only man to own 3 professional sports team at once in the same area (South Florida near monopoly)
Miami Dolphins NFL
Florida Marlins MBL – won the World series in 1997 and dismantled the team
Florida Panthers NHL
Nearly purchased Miami Heat NBA
Lobby to build a 2600 acre sports entertainment complex in South Florida with stadiums, theme parks, shops and luxury golf courses centered around each team
Other Accomplishments

Started Extended Stay America hotel chain which grew to 62 location in its 1st year and over 500 hotels be he sold in 2004
Florida Marlins MBL – won the World series in 1997 and dismantled the team
Founded three Fortune 500 companies
6 companies listed on the NYSE


He focuses on service industries, mostly which have recurring income: dumpster rental, trash collection, video rental, etc. Even the emphasis of the AutoNation model was customer service.
He focuses on finding industries that aren’t meeting customer needs
He uses a blitzkrieg strategy focuses on disjointed industries with no consolidated loyalty
Career Achievements

5 time Financial World Mag CEO of the Year
Business Leader of the Year – Georgetown U
Gordon Grand Fellow – Yale U
Florida Sports Hall of Fame
Horatio Alger Association Award
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2005

Major contributor to Nova Southeastern, fund the H. Wayne Huizenga School of Bus & Entr.
Funded the Huizenga Sales Institute
The Florida Council of 100
The Florida Council of Economic Education
The Salvation Army
The Boys and Girls Club


Competitive (Mr. Huizenga business model is based on seeking and destroying the competition, dominating the market and getting out on top)
Action-Oriented/Driven (His hard work and active involvement in his ventures has been consistent, from driving a bulldozer for his dad, driving a trash truck for his first company and serving as CEO for his own business ventures)
Goal Setter (Wayne has a vision for every venture — He expects to win in all that he does.)
Constant Improvement (When business begins to stagnate Wayne normally sells out and finds the next challenge)
Hard Worker – His penchant for hard work is legendary. There is no luck involved with his success.
Risk Taker – This is a must. He was not successful at every business, but he never failure to get up and keep moving.
Visionary – Wayne know how to make things better. He turned trash collection, video rentals, and auto sales into empires. Each the largest in the world in their industry.