CEO’s Family Shocked To Learn Who He Left His Inheritance To
This might just be the ultimate act of betrayal ever. Dick Robinson Jr., the late CEO of Scholastic publishing, made headlines when he decided to leave the company and all of his personal possessions to his chief strategy officer, Iole Lucchese. While the move was certainly unexpected to his family, some of Robinson’s employees say they saw it coming, stating that the 84-year-old mogul had been romantically linked to Lucchese for quite some time.
According to PEOPLE.com, a source close to Robinson and Lucchese recalls the two being “very open” about their affair in the workplace. Lucchese, who had served as the company’s chair of the board and executive vice president, was highly respected for her professional work and achievements. One former employee even praised Lucchese in the Wall Street Journal, saying that she “spoke freely and candidly” during important meetings and encouraged other women in the office to do the same.
That said, many staffers already had an inkling that she would eventually inherit the company from Robinson, given her 30-year seniority and, of course, her close relationship with Robinson. In 2018, Robinson drafted a will that would give Lucchese full control over the business, which is now worth $1.2 billion.
Naturally, Robinson’s family was completely blindsided by the move. The entire situation impacted his ex-wife the most since she had been incredibly loyal to the company for decades. Helen Benham had been with Scholastic for over 30 years (more than Lucchese) and she even served on the board at one point. She even stated that her relationship with Robinson grew close even after their divorce in 2003, so it threw her off-guard to find out that neither she nor their sons were included in his will.
“I lived and breathed Scholastic while also raising our two children. Dick told me on more than one occasion, ‘You care more about Scholastic than I do.’ … I was shocked and we were not expecting this,” she said.
Still, her sons hope that their father’s decision doesn’t take away from his achievements as a parent. According to Reece, his youngest son, Robinson was a regular part of his life and he was a great father overall, despite everything that is going on.
“You might think from the will that he didn’t see his sons. That’s not true,” Reece told the WSJ. “For the last two years, I saw him multiple times a week.”
Robinson passed away on June 5, 2021, after a 46-year career with Scholastic. He leaves behind an incredible legacy that includes memorable launches such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.