Lynda Carter (m. 1984)
Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media
Jessica Altman, James Altman
Norman Altman, Sophie Altman
Robert A. Altman is the current Chairman and CEO of ZeniMax Media, parent company of publisher Bethesda Softworks, LLC. Altman also serves on the Advisory Board of The George Washington University Law School.
Robert was born to a Jewish family in 1947. He is the son of Norman Altman and Sophie Altman. Norman Altman, a graduate of Harvard Law School, who died in 1997, was a real estate lawyer and investor, and founded the Washingon, DC law firm Krooth and Altman. Sophie Altman, a graduate of Yale Law School, worked in television broadcasting, and was a multiple Emmy award-winning producer. Among the television shows Sophie produced was the high school educational program, It's Academic, now in its 54th year. Robert is one of 4 children.
Altman practiced law for many years in Washington DC as a partner of Clark Clifford, former United States Secretary of Defense, in the law firm of Clifford and Warnke. Altman later opened his own law firm, the Law Offices of Robert Altman, where Clifford was of counsel. As a Washington lawyer, Altman represented major companies before federal regulatory agencies, before Congress, or in litigation.
From 1978-82, Altman and Clifford represented a group of wealthy Arab businessmen, including members of the royal family from Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, in their efforts to acquire a multi-state bank holding company, Financial General Bankshares. The Arab investors used a British bank, Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), as their financial advisor in this transaction. Following the acquisition, Altman became President of Financial General, which was renamed First American Corporation.
In 1991, it was alleged that BCCI, the financial adviser to the Arab shareholders and their “communications link”, had acquired by means of offshore loans that were in default, the shares of the Arab investors in First American. Questions were raised whether the Arab investors had falsely represented to bank regulators the true ownership of First American. During the ensuing investigations, Altman and Clifford testified at length before Congress, federal and state grand juries, and the Federal Reserve. Audits of First American by the Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller, and state banking agencies confirmed that the bank had been operated under Altman’s management without any BCCI influence.
In 1992, Clifford and Altman were charged in indictments by the New York District Attorney and the Department of Justice, as well as being named in a civil suit by the Federal Reserve. Clifford, then in poor health, was severed from the case as he was physically unable to go to trial. Altman maintained his innocence, refused offers of a plea to resolve the cases, and insisted on going to trial. In the summer of 1993, after a five-month trial, the court dismissed the central count in the indictment of bribery, saying no evidence had been presented by the government to support it. Altman declined to present a defense case, and was acquitted by the jury of all remaining charges. The Department of Justice dismissed the companion federal indictment. The civil suit by the Federal Reserve was settled, with Altman agreeing to be banned permanently from banking.
Altman resumed his Washington legal practice after the trial. In May 1999, he cofounded ZeniMax Media with Bethesda Softworks founder Christopher Weaver, as a new parent company for Bethesda. Altman was brought in as CEO, with Weaver serving as CTO. Weaver was pushed out of an operational role in 2002, and filed a related lawsuit that was settled out of court.
Altman remains CEO and Chairman of ZeniMax to date.
In 2007 Altman endorsed Barack Obama for president. In 2015, both Robert and his wife Lynda Carter endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.