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Thursday, Jan 26, 2023
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No. 10 , John J. Moores



Estimated worth: $800 million

John J. Moores, 63, was already a wealthy man after selling his stake in BMC Software in Houston in 1992, a deal that he took about $400 million from.

Among the uses for his profit was buying the San Diego Padres, the city’s major league baseball team. He also began investing in Peregrine Systems Inc., a San Diego software firm founded in 1981. By the time the company went public in 1997, Moores was chairman of the board and had a significant stake in a rapidly growing company.

Yet during the course of the next several years, either through astute reading of the economy or sheer luck, he unloaded most of his shares at nice profits, earning more than $600 million, according to one report.

In 2002, Peregrine revealed it would restate past financial results because of “accounting irregularities.” The mistakes ballooned into one of the worst corporate accounting scandals in the region’s history, and resulted in the company filing for bankruptcy, and criminal indictments of its management. Moores, who resigned as chairman in 2000, emerged unscathed.

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His ownership of the Padres, which he acquired in 1994 for $95 million, has been far more fruitful. In 1998, the team made it to the World Series, and this year, it made the National League playoffs.

Forbes ranked the Padres as the 13th richest franchise of 30 in Major League Baseball with a market value of $329 million based on 2004 figures. That was 24 percent above its estimated value in the prior year, before it moved into Petco Park, the $450 million ballpark that was built primarily using some $300 million in public funds.

Moores doesn’t have to travel far to watch his team. He purchased several penthouses for himself and other family members at the Metropolitan, the ultra-posh condos atop the Omni Hotel right next to the ballpark.

Forbes didn’t list Moores on its wealthiest list this year (the threshold was $900 million), but in 2004, he made it with an estimated worth of $750 million. His ownership stake in JMI Services Inc., and all those buildings in the East Village, has risen since then.

A native Texan, Moores is a member of the University of California Board of Regents, appointed in 1999. He is also on the boards of Scripps Research Institute and the Carter Center.

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