What is Walter Yetnikoff's net worth? Music executive dies aged 87

Amber Peake August 10, 2021
What is Walter Yetnikoff's net worth? Music executive dies aged 87
Photo by Walter McBride/Corbis via Getty Images


Former president of CBS Records, Walter Yetnikoff, has died aged 87. Following the news of his death, which was first reported by Variety, some are curious to know Walter Yetnikoff’s net worth.

Music executive Walter Yetnikoff dies aged 87

It was announced yesterday (Monday, 9 August) that Walter Yetnikoff had died aged 87. 

The news of the music executive’s death was first announced by Variety, which reported he died Sunday night (8 August) days before his 88th birthday (11 August)

Many fans and friends took to social media to pay tribute to Yetnikoff and look back on his career: 

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Walter Yetnikoff’s net worth explored

Yetnikoff, at his peak, was one of the biggest names in the music business, known to many for his time as president and chief executive of CBS Records between 1975 and 1990.

As head of CBS Records, he helped grow the company as he secured the signatures of many big names including music legends Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.

According to All Music, the success of his signings saw Yetnikoff take home an estimated half a million dollars in his annual salary in 1984.

Yetnikoff was also said to have received about $20 million after Sony Records acquired CBS in 1988.

In 2004 the music executive was said to have an estimated net worth of about $12.5 million, although more recent articles suggest his net worth was around $6 million before his death.

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A look at the late music executive’s career

While he became a well-known figure in the record industry, Walter Yetnikoff started his career at CBS as an in-house attorney in 1961.

In a 1988 interview with Rolling Stone, Yetnikoff admitted his start in the industry was “pure accident” as he later pursued a career as an executive.

Over the years, Yetnikoff worked his way up through the company before being appointed president and chief executive of CBS Records in 1975.

He later became known for working alongside iconic artists such as Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Barbra Streisand and Bruce Springsteen.

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Amber is a freelance writer on The Focus who mainly covers anything celeb, music, and entertainment related. Having graduated with a BA (Hons) in Journalism from Brunel University in 2020, she has spent the last two years reporting the latest celeb news and pop culture trends across leading and national publishers. Starting her career at Express.co.uk as a showbiz reporter, Amber began contributing on The Focus in 2021. As well as her work on the site, she has also written across other GRV Media publications, including both Reality Titbit and HITC. When she's not scrolling endlessly on TikTok, you'll find Amber wrapped up in yet another DIY crafting project.