Terry Semel Bio, Age, Wife(s), Kids, Yahoo!, Warner Bros, Career, and Net worth.

Terry Semel Biography

Terry Semel is an American corporate executive who was the chairman and CEO of Yahoo! Incorporated from 2001-2007. He previously spent 24 years at Warner Bros, where he served as chairman and co-chief executive officer. 

He resigned as CEO due in part to pressure from shareholders’ dissatisfaction over his compensation (in 2006, salary $1, stock options worth $70 million) and performance. He is also the founder of Windsor Media, the production company that produced Rules Don’t Apply starring Lily Collins and Warren Beatty. 

Terry Semel Age

He was born Terence Steven Semel on February 24, 1943, in Brooklyn. New York. He is 76 years.

Terry Semel Spouse(s)

He has been married twice. Semel married Maryann Soloway in 1966, he later divorced in 1974. In 1977, he married Jane Bovingdon, a former secretary to the actress Susan George.

Terry Semel Kids

He has three daughters, Courtney Semel born on November 11, 1979, Lily Bovingdon Semel born in 1985, and Kate Bovingdon Semel born in March 1992, and a son, Eric Scott Semel born on March 15, 1969.

Terry Semel Net Worth

Semel has a net worth $300 million dollars.

Early life

Semel was born to a Jewish family in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Mildred and Ben Semel. His father was a women’s coat designer and his mother was a bus company executive. He was raised in Bay Terrace, a community in Bayside, Queens. He was the middle child and has two sisters. At the age of 23, he graduated from Long Island University in Brooklyn with a B.S. degree in accounting.


In 1965 he began working at Warner Bros as a trainee. Semel worked for CBS corporation’s theatrical film production company, Cinema Center Films, as domestic sales manager from 1970 to 1972. In 1972 CBS closed Cinema Center Films and Semel moved to the Walt Disney Company. He was vice president in charge of theatrical distribution until 1975.

Semel returned to Warner Bros in 1975. Distribution as president then moved into studio operations as an executive vice president in 1979. In 1981 Frank Wells announced he was taking a less active role in the company. On January 1, 1982, Terry became the president and chief operating officer of Warner Bros.

In 1994, Warner Bros. Chairman and Chief Executive Robert A. Daly announced that Semel would become his co-chairman and CEO. The following year, the two men also became co-chairmen and co-chief executives of Warner Music following the firing of Michael J. Fuchs.

Both Daly and Semel resigned from Warner Bros. in July 1999.

Terry Semel
Terry Semel

Terry Semel Yahoo compensation

Semel was granted stock options with an SEC Fair Value of over $110 million as a bonus to joining Yahoo in April 2001. During June 2006, his annual salary was reduced to one dollar.

Yahoo!-China cooperation controversy

As CEO, Semel approved Yahoo!’s cooperation with Chinese officials to release previously confidential Yahoo! information to the Chinese government. This action by Yahoo! was not well received and he showed signs of regret as to how that information was being used.

Other activities

He is currently co-chair of the board of trustees of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). In 2005, he was given the UCLA Medal, that University’s highest honor, and the “Legend in Leadership Award” from the Chief Executive Leadership Institute of the Yale School of Management.

Terry Semel Conservatorship

Last May, Eric Semel, the eldest child and only son of former Warner Bros. chief Terry Semel, filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court to appoint a temporary conservator for his father. Semel had been a lion of Hollywood during his heyday, winning admiration for the way he revolutionized the movie business during two decades at the top — and for the finesse with which he’d conducted himself while doing so. But by last year Semel, then 75 and suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’s, had for some time been unable to manage his personal or financial affairs.

Two years earlier, Semel’s wife, Jane, had put him in a nursing facility. Now Eric was claiming that his stepmother “was in serious breach of her fiduciary duties” and “causing serious harm to Terry’s health and safety, potentially rising to elder abuse and neglect.”

The allegations were as numerous as they were disturbing. In the filings, Jane is accused of instructing Semel’s private caregivers to change the dosages of his prescriptions or eliminate them altogether; ignoring repeated requests to take her husband, who also suffered from high blood pressure, for regular physical examinations; and refusing to allow him to leave the facility, curtailing his social activities.

Semel, his son claimed, had been reduced to living in a 500-square-foot bedroom at the Motion Picture & Television Fund retirement community in Woodland Hills, against his expressed wish to remain at his home, a 13,000-square-foot Bel-Air mansion.