Politics

Trump Taps Billionaire NHL Owner For Army Secretary

| by Ray Brown

President-elect Donald Trump has tapped another New York billionaire to join his Cabinet.

Vincent Viola, a graduate of the West Point military academy who made his fortune in the finance industry and bought the NHL's Florida Panthers in 2013, received the nod to be the next Army secretary.

“I am proud to have such an incredibly accomplished and selfless individual as Vincent Viola as our secretary of the Army,” Trump said in a statement, reports Politico. “Whether it is his distinguished military service or highly impressive track record in the world of business, Vinnie has proved throughout his life that he knows how to be a leader and deliver major results in the face of any challenge."

Viola founded Virtu Financial, which is valued at $2.4 billion, according to Bloomberg. His personal net worth is estimated at $1.8 billion.

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Trump said Viola's “business experience makes him well positioned to help guide a Fortune 10-sized company, the U.S. Army, to accomplish its broad mission in the most innovative and efficient way possible.”

Viola's military experience dates back to his graduation from West Point in 1977 and subsequent service with the 101st Airborne Division. After his active duty service, Viola served in the Army Reserve.

If confirmed by the Senate, Viola will succeed Eric Fanning, the first openly gay Army secretary, notes NBC News.

Viola's nomination adds to the growing number of billionaires Trump has appointed to his Cabinet.

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In November, Trump appointed Todd Ricketts, the co-owner of the MLB's Chicago Cubs, who has an estimated personal fortune of more than $5 billion, for deputy commerce secretary, according to CBS News.

Trump then appointed Amway heiress Betsy DeVos, who also has a net worth of about $5 billion, for education secretary; energy titan Wilbur Ross, with a net worth of $2.4 billion, for commerce secretary; and former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Linda McMahon, worth $1.6 billion, to head the Small Business Administration. 

Sources: Politico, Bloomberg, NBC News, CBS News / Photo credit: Irish Times

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