Guber is also a co-owner of four professional sports teams: the Golden State Warriors of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Los Angeles Dodgers of Major League Baseball, the Major League Soccer team Los Angeles FC, and the professional eSports organization Team Liquid.
Guber is Chairman of Dick Clark Productions, which produces the American Music Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and other programs. He is Chairman of NASDAQ’s Mandalay Digital Media and Mandalay Sports Media. He is a professor at the UCLA School of Theater Film and Television and the UCLA Anderson School of Management and an Entertainment and Media Analyst for Fox Business News.
Peter Guber was born in Boston, Massachusetts. His parents, Sam Guber and Ruth Anshen, of Jewish descent, married in 1929. Sam Guber owned a junk business in Somerville, Massachusetts. As a child, Guber was noted as a “very smart, wired kid” by a childhood acquaintance. He attended John Ward Elementary School and Newton North High School.) Guber’s childhood included a love of the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Park, which foreshadowed his later participation in the group that purchased the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Following high school graduation, Guber enrolled in the pre-law curriculum at Syracuse University. He played intramural football and rushed the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity. Guber spent his junior year abroad at Syracuse's Florence, Italy campus. At Syracuse he met his future wife, Tara Lynda Francine Gellis whom he married in 1964.
Guber enrolled at New York University, where he earned his J.D. and LL.M. law degrees, studying for his MBA at night. As he neared graduation in 1968, Guber accepted a position with Columbia Pictures, which was keen to recruit him, as a management trainee.
Guber joined Columbia Pictures in 1968. At Columbia, Guber, an early proponent of computerization and entertainment technologies, began computerizing files on working actors and made available tape-recorded summaries of scripts for other executives to listen to while driving to work. A year after arriving at Columbia, Guber, having witnessed a demonstration of an early video cassette machine, published "The New Ballgame/The Cartridge Revolution," a "prescient" analysis of the changes to be wrought by home video technology, in the journal Cinema.
Guber was transferred to the business affairs division. Guber paid to fly himself to Columbia's New York City office and successfully argued for his promotion to vice-president of creative affairs. Shortly thereafter Guber was named head of American production. In August 1973 he was promoted to vice-president of worldwide production. Steven Spielberg noted that he “used to go to (Guber’s) office at Columbia when (he) was just starting. (Guber) had an enormous chart on (his) wall with what every director in the world was planning that listed their pictures in development and planned for production.” It made a lasting impression on Spielberg.
During his time at Columbia the studio released, among other films, Shampoo, Taxi Driver, Tommy, The Way We Were and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Upon leaving Columbia in 1975, Guber was given a three-year production deal with the studio.
Guber launched his career as an independent film producer with The Deep (1977), which became the second highest-grossing film of the year. Guber also bought the rights and served as executive producer for Midnight Express (1978). Produced by Alan Marshall and David Puttnam, the film earned seven Academy Award nominations including Best Picture. The National Association of Theater Owners named Guber Producer of the Year.
In 1976 Guber merged his company Filmworks with Casablanca Records, headed by Neil Bogart, to form Casablanca Record and Filmworks, Inc. Guber became chairman while Bogart remained President of the combined company. Their record operation included Kiss, Donna Summer, Captain and Tennille, The Village People, and George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic. It also released soundtracks such as Midnight Express, Endless Love, and Flashdance. During this period, Guber also produced several television shows and series, including Television and the Presidency (1984) with Theodore H. White, the 1985 documentary series Oceanquest for NBC, and the 1980 special Mysteries of the Sea for ABC.
In 1979, Guber formed PolyGram's motion picture and television division where he was Chairman of the Board and CEO. He sold his interest in PolyGram in 1983 and formed and served as co-owner of the Guber-Peters Company (GPC) along with producer Jon Peters.
Films on which Guber served as producer or executive producer have earned more than $3 billion in worldwide revenue and more than 50 Academy Award nominations, including four Best Picture nominations. Guber's producing credits include Rain Man, Batman, Gorillas in the Mist, The Color Purple, Innerspace, The Witches of Eastwick, Flashdance, Missing, Tango & Cash and An American Werewolf in London.
This period of Guber’s career was marked by sharp deal making which was often successful. With The Witches of Eastwick Guber was accused by producer Rob Cohen, who had originally approached Guber with the book, of having "bought the book out from under me" after negotiations had begun.But Guber’s deal with Cohen allowed him to buy out the producer, and Cohen was advised that if he sued, he would lose.
In 1988, GPC became a public company when they merged with game show production company Barris Industries and on September 7, 1989, Barris Industries was renamed Guber-Peters Entertainment Company. On September 29, 1989, GPEC was acquired by Sony Corporation and Guber became chairman of the board and CEO of Columbia Pictures Entertainment (now Sony Pictures Entertainment). The sale was completed on November 9, 1989 a day after Sony acquired Columbia Pictures Entertainment. During Guber's tenure at SPE, the company produced and distributed many prime time, half-hour comedy television series, with shows including Married... with Children, Designing Women, and Seinfeld (all launched prior to Guber's arrival), and Mad About You and The Nanny.
During Guber's tenure as chairman and CEO, SPE's Motion Picture Group achieved, over four years, an industry-best domestic box office market share, which averaged seventeen percent. During the same period, Sony Pictures led all competitors with 120 Academy Award nominations, the highest four-year total ever for a single company. Some of SPE's motion picture credits at this time include Awakenings, Misery, Flatliners, Terminator 2, Boyz n the Hood, City Slickers, Basic Instinct, A League of Their Own, Single White Female, A River Runs Through It, A Few Good Men, Sleepless in Seattle, In the Line of Fire, Groundhog Day and Philadelphia.
In 1995, Guber, as part of his severance agreement from Sony, formed Mandalay Entertainment as a joint venture with his former employer. The multimedia entertainment company has interests in motion pictures, television, sports entertainment and digital media.
Mandalay Pictures, a division of Mandalay Entertainment Group, produces motion pictures for the global marketplace. Mandalay’s primary distributor relationship is through a first look deal with Universal Pictures.
Mandalay Vision is Mandalay Entertainment Group's independent development, production and financing label. Mandalay Vision's first release, The Kids Are All Right (2010), directed by Lisa Cholodenko and starring Julianne Moore, Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo, won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy, and was nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Mandalay Vision produced Bernie (2011), directed by Richard Linklater and starring Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey and Shirley MacLaine. Bernie debuted at #1 on general release in April 2012 with the best per-theater average for a limited release. Jack Black received a Golden Globe nomination, and the film gained two Spirit Award nominations as well as a Best Picture nomination at the 2012 Gotham Awards.
Mandalay Television Pictures produces television movies-of-the-week and mini-series.
Mandalay Television's Blood Crime, starring James Caan and Jonathan Schaech, was USA network's highest rated (Crime Friday) movie for 2002.
From best-selling author Nora Roberts, Peter Guber adapted a number of books into Lifetime movies. More than 34 million viewers turned in to the first collection of four movies: Angels Fall, Blue Smoke, Carolina Moon and Montana Sky.
Following the initial Nora Roberts' adaptations, Mandalay Television produced the Nora Roberts II Collection, with four more all-new original movies: Northern Lights, Midnight Bayou, High Noon and Tribute. The second collection was seen by over 49 million viewers, and Northern Lights was one of the top rated cable movies in 2009. Mandalay Television completed the ninth installment in the franchise, Carnal Innocence, starring Gabrielle Anwar, which premiered on Lifetime in June 2011.
Peter Guber serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors and is the Managing Partner of Mandalay Baseball LLC, which is a joint venture with ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers that recently acquired the Triple-A affiliated Minor League Baseball franchise in Oklahoma City, and commencing with the 2015 baseball season, will become the Triple-A affiliate of the Dodgers.
He also continues to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Mandalay Baseball Properties, which has owned, operated and is currently divesting a national array of affiliated Minor League Baseball franchises and venues. Among the professional sports franchises that have been recently divested by Mandalay Baseball Properties are the Dayton Dragons, a Single-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds which broke the all-time North American professional sports record for consecutive sell outs in 2011 with 815 games encompassing 12 seasons, and in August 2014 was sold for the highest price ever paid for a Minor League Baseball franchise.
Mandalay Baseball Properties continues to own and operate the Erie SeaWolves, a Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.
In 2012, Guber and Mandalay Entertainment partnered with CAA Sports and Mike Tollin to create Mandalay Sports Media. The sports media business creates, finances, and acquires operating businesses, intellectual property, and varied enterprises within the sports and media sectors, as well as develops sports-themed entertainment programming for distribution across film, television, mobile and digital.
In October 2014, Mandalay Sports Media invested in and became the largest shareholder in OYO Sports, a “fan engagement” company that produces buildable mini-replicas of athletes from major professional sports leagues including the MLB, NFL, NHL and MLS, as well as some universities.
In September, 2012, Peter Guber and Mandalay Entertainment joined a partnership which purchased Dick Clark Productions from Red Zone Capital Management.
Their productions include specials like The Golden Globes, The American Music Awards, The Academy of Country Music Awards,New Year's Rockin' Eve, and reality show So You Think You Can Dance.
Peter Guber serves as the Co-Executive Chairman of the Golden State Warriors. As co-managing partner, he joined Joe Lacob as the driving forces behind the current ownership group’s NBA record-setting bid to purchase the Warriors in 2010. The Warriors won the NBA Championships for the 2014-15 NBA season and 2016-17 NBA season.
Consultant Marc Ganis said of the purchase, “This could be one of the most valuable teams in the NBA.” The Golden State Warriors won the 2014 Sports Business Journal Award for Team of the Year, saying the team “continued a sharp trajectory in 2013 under owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber that produced strong, extensive on- and off-court gains,”
Guber and Lacob agreed to buy 12 acres of land in San Francisco's Mission Bay neighborhood to build a privately financed new arena. The move would mark the Warrior’s return to a home arena in San Francisco (from Oakland) for the first time in more than four decades. Opening is targeted for the 2018-2019 season.
Lacob said of Guber: "He cares more than any owner about the team, the image of the team and what the fans think."
On March 27, 2012, Guber became an owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers as a Partner in Guggenheim Baseball Entertainment. The Los Angeles Dodgers clinched the 2013 National League West Division Championship and played postseason baseball for the first time since 2009.
Guber was persuaded to join the group purchasing the Dodgers by Magic Johnson. “Magic called and he said, ‘Come on, we’ve been so lucky together, we’ve been so good together, let’s do it, let’s do it, let’s do it,’ ” said Guber. So after meeting with Johnson, and others in the prospective ownership group, Guber decided to join the team that would make the $2.15 billion winning offer, which more than doubled the previous record price for a North American sports franchise.”
Howard Nuchow, co-head of CAA Sports, described Guber’s contributions as attached to the entire baseball experience, "It's the notion Peter has that you have to entertain fans from the time they receive tickets in the mail until they drive home."
In October 2014, Peter Guber became the owner and executive chairman of Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC). The ownership group includes entrepreneur Henry Nguyen, sports veteran Tom Penn, Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Mia Hamm Garciaparra and Tony Robbins, among others. The new club is scheduled to debut in 2018 in a new soccer stadium in the greater Los Angeles area built specifically for the team.
Guber's most recent book, Tell To Win - Connect, Persuade, and Triumph with the Hidden Power of Story, became a #1 bestseller in The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal. Fortune magazine chose Tell To Win as one of their "5 Business Books You Can Really Use." "Peter Guber’s other books include Inside The Deep and The Los Angeles Times best-seller Shootout: Surviving Fame and (Mis)Fortune in Hollywood. Guber authored a cover piece for the Harvard Business Review, and op-ed pieces for The New York Times.
Peter Guber is a professor at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, Television and Digital Media and has been a member of the faculty for over 30 years. He also teaches at UCLA's Anderson School of Management.
He is a member of the UCLA Foundation Board of Trustees, as well as the winner of UCLA's Service Award for his accomplishments and association with the university. Guber is the Chair of the Founding Board of Advisors for the Center for Managing Enterprises in Media, Entertainment & Sports (MEMES) at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Of his course, Guber said, “"I wanted students to recognize the power of narrative," he said. "Storytelling is not frivolous entertainment. It's an inspirational and professional tool that can bring life into focus."
In 2012, Guber was named one of the “Twelve Great Speakers of the Year” by Successful Meetings magazine. Guber’s national and global speaking events include Cisco, JWT, Under Armour, Alcoa, HSBC, Twitter, Sodexo, Milken Institute, Intel, Korn Ferry, Women's Wear Daily CEO Summit, Wharton Leadership Conference, GAP, Inc, John Hancock Life Insurance, Experian Marketing, Del Monte Foods, Cox Media Group, Comcast.
In 2016, Bruce Stein, along with Guber and his group aXiomatic, purchased Team Liquid, a professional American League of Legends team. The Deep (1977): producer
Midnight Express (1978): executive producer
An American Werewolf in London (1981): executive producer
Missing (1982): executive producer
Six Weeks (1982): producer
Flashdance (1983): executive producer
D.C. Cab (1983): executive producer
Vision Quest (1985): producer
The Legend of Billie Jean (1985): executive producer
Clue (1985): executive producer
The Color Purple (1985): executive producer
Head Office (1985): executive producer
The Clan of the Cave Bear (1986): executive producer
Youngblood (1986): executive producer
The Witches of Eastwick (1987): producer
Innerspace (1987): executive producer
Who's That Girl (1987): executive producer
Caddyshack II (1988): producer
Gorillas in the Mist (1988): executive producer
Missing Link (1988): executive producer
Rain Man (1988) : executive producer
Batman (1989): producer
Tango & Cash (1989): producer
The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990): executive producer
Batman Returns (1992): executive producer
This Boy's Life (1993): executive producer
With Honors (1994): executive producer
Sleepy Hollow (1999): producer
The Score (2001): producer
Enemy at the Gates (2001): producer
Serving Sara (2002): producer
Alex and Emma (2003): executive producer
Beyond Borders (2003): producer
Into the Blue (2005): executive producer
The Jacket (2005): producer
A Thousand Roads (2005): executive producer
Montana Sky (made for television, 2007): executive producer
Carolina Moon (made for television, 2007): executive producer
Blue Smoke (made for television, 2007): executive producer
Angels Fall (made for television, 2007): executive producer
Tribute (made for television, 2009): executive producer
High Noon (made for television, 2009): executive producer
Midnight Bayou (made for television, 2009): executive producer
Northern Lights (made for television, 2009): executive producer
Guber is the author of three books; his 2011 book, Tell to Win, reached number 1 on the New York Times Hardcover Advice & Miscellaneous Best Sellers list.Peter Guber (1977). Inside The Deep. Bantam. ISBN 978-0-553-11136-1.
Peter Guber and Peter Bart (2003). Shoot Out. Perigee Trade. ISBN 978-0-399-52888-0.
Peter Guber (2011). Tell to Win: Connect, Persuade and Triumph With the Hidden Power of Story. Crown Business. ISBN 9780307587954.