Home » Companies owned by the world’s richest Black woman, Oprah Winfrey

Companies owned by the world’s richest Black woman, Oprah Winfrey

Winfrey's story is one of empowerment, philanthropy, and astute entrepreneurship, making her a trailblazer in both media and business

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey, the world’s wealthiest Black woman, isn’t just a name you know – she’s a cultural icon and a business powerhouse. Starting from local media, she skyrocketed to national fame with “The Oprah Winfrey Show” in 1986.

In over 25 years, her show became the highest-rated daytime talk program in TV history, solidifying her influence. This success led to the creation of Harpo Productions, her own production company, giving her full control of her creative vision.

With a net worth of $2.8 billion, according to Forbes, Winfrey’s media investments and businesses have made her a financial giant and an inspiring figure, especially for women and people of color.

Harpo Productions became a launchpad for various ventures. It produced shows like “Dr. Phil” and “Rachael Ray,” showcasing Winfrey’s ability to nurture talent. O, The Oprah Magazine, launched in 2000, offered a platform for women’s voices. Harpo Films developed movies and documentaries, expanding its media reach.

Winfrey’s vision went beyond traditional media. Investments in Oxygen, OWN (The Oprah Winfrey Network), and Weight Watchers demonstrated her understanding of evolving consumption patterns. Her philanthropy through the Oprah Winfrey Foundation and Angel Network addresses social issues and supports education.

Her journey offers valuable lessons, transforming talk show TV, and breaking racial and gender barriers. As an entrepreneur, she showed business acumen, building a diverse media empire. Through investments and philanthropy, she empowers underrepresented groups and tackles societal challenges.

Billionaires.Africa recognizes Winfrey’s ownership of influential companies, underlining her influence and growth-driving capabilities, solidifying her status as a trailblazer in the business world:

  1. Harpo Productions Inc.
    Founded in 1986 by Oprah Winfrey, Harpo Productions stands as a cornerstone in American multimedia. The company, whose name cleverly reverses Oprah’s own, is celebrated for producing iconic daytime talk shows such as “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Dr. Oz Show,” and “The Nate Berkus Show,” along with popular programs like “Dr. Phil” and “Rachael Ray.”
  1. Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN)
    Launched 12 years ago, OWN is a television network showcasing top-tier shows from esteemed creators. Predominantly owned by Warner Bros and Discovery, with Winfrey retaining a five-percent minority stake, OWN replaced Discovery Health Channel in 2011.
  1. True Food Kitchen
    Investing in the health-focused restaurant chain True Food Kitchen in 2018, Winfrey joined the board of directors, showcasing her active engagement beyond mere investment. With Oprah’s continued presence on the board, True Food Kitchen has expanded nationally, boasting over 50 locations across the United States.
  1. Oatly
    Playing a pivotal role since 2012, Winfrey has been a strong supporter of Oatly, a plant-based milk alternative. In 2018, Winfrey became an investor, joining a notable group of celebrities like Jay-Z and Natalie Portman. Her consistent promotion across social media channels and interviews has contributed to the brand’s success.
  1. Oxygen Media LLC
    Established in 1998 by Winfrey and others, Oxygen Media initially operated as a television network. In 2017, it underwent rebranding to emphasize true-crime programming. Transitioning to a digital multicast television network on NBC Owned Television Stations’ subchannels in 2022, Oxygen Media expanded its reach.
  1. Weight Watchers International Inc.
    A pioneer in human-centric weight loss and management programs, Weight Watchers International Inc. has been at the forefront for nearly six decades. In 2015, Winfrey acquired a 10-percent stake, which has since reduced to 1.43 percent, currently valued at $7.53 million.
  1. Apeel Sciences
    In 2017, Winfrey invested in Apeel Sciences during a Series C funding round. Apeel Sciences develops edible coatings to prolong the shelf life of produce, and through her indirect ownership, Oprah remains a public advocate and investor in the venture.
  1. Oprah Winfrey’s Homes
    Beyond her business ventures, Winfrey boasts an array of properties, from California to Nashville and over a dozen in Hawaii. Her primary residence, the 66-acre “Promised Land” estate in Montecito, features a 20,000-square-foot mansion. Recently, she garnered a $6.6-million profit from the sale of one of her California estates.

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