Robert A. Altman, CEO of ZeniMax Media has died in Maryland.
He was 73 years old.
The cause of death was complications from leukemia.
Though Altman may not be a household name, most people either know him through the work of his company or because of his famous wife.
We are deeply saddened to tell you of the passing of Robert A. Altman, our Founder and CEO. He was a true visionary, friend, and believer in the spirit of people and the power of what they could accomplish together. He was an extraordinary leader, and an even better human being. pic.twitter.com/FZFsVtHc5t
— Bethesda (@bethesda) February 4, 2021
Here are 3 cold hard facts about Altman.
1. ZeniMax Is Behind Popular Gaming Franchises
Gaming franchises affiliated with ZeniMax include Doom, Dishonored, Fallout and The Elder Scrolls.
ZeniMax has been in business since 1999.
Altman found the company with MIT Professor Christopher Weaver.
Former President Donald Trump’s brother Robert was an early investor in the company.
Weaver left the company in 2002 after having a falling-out with Altman that resulted in a lawsuit.
Christopher Weaver lost the lawsuit and continues to teach at MIT.
2. Altman Was Married To A Hollywood Star
Lynda Carter, 69, the original Wonder Woman, was married to Altman.
Altman is Carter’s second husband; they married in 1984 and just last week celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary.
Remembering all those moments at the airport when we were living thousands of miles apart, traveling across the country to be together so many years ago. After 37 years, I’m still thankful to wake up next to you each day. Happy Anniversary, my love ❤️ pic.twitter.com/P34a3722Aw
— Lynda Carter (@RealLyndaCarter) January 29, 2021
She previously was married to her former agent Ron Samuels from 1977-1982.
Carter and Altman have two children; James Altman, 33, and Jessica, 30.
Altman was based in the Washington, DC area so Carter left Hollywood to live with him in the posh DC suburb of Potomac, Maryland.
3. Robert Altman Was Active during the Pandemic.
His company celebrated its milestone 21st birthday in 2020.
Altman sent weekly emails to his employees keep morale up.
Here is an excerpt of one of the emails:
“Last week I maintained some small pleasures I had discovered as a byproduct of the lockdown. Some of you have since written to share your own experiences and describe other quiet joys WFH brings: the growing numbers of song birds in our backyards, quieter streets, adventurous efforts backing bread and mixing cocktails, long walks, restaurant takeout, time to read. While we clearly miss treasured social interactions, something valuable has been gained too. We know many are feeling the pressure of isolation, and the stresses related to our current circumstances. Again, I urge you to make time for yourselves daily, schedule online social gatherings, and keep your perspective, knowing this will pass.
Tomorrow I encourages everyone to take a break to toast our Company’s 21st birthday, and reflect on the long journey we have taken together. You have done something extraordinary, something few startups ever do. You have created a multinational, multi-billion dollar business, staked with talent at all levels of the company, carving out a leadership role, earning the admiration of our toughest competitors and devoted fans. And you have done it the right way, always faithful to our core principles of integrity, respect, team, quality. Don’t let the day pass without taking a moment to enjoy your remarkable creation. Looking forward to being back together. As always, stay safe.”
He also engineered a deal to sell ZeniMax to Microsoft in September 2020 for $7.5 billion; the sale was not finalized prior to Altman’s death.