Mark Cuban Departs 'Shark Tank' Post Season 16: 'It's Time'

ABC's entrepreneurial landscape takes a turn with Cuban's exit.

by Nouman Rasool
Mark Cuban Departs 'Shark Tank' Post Season 16: 'It's Time'
© Dia Dipasupil/GettyImages

In a notable shift for the entrepreneurial landscape on television, business magnate Mark Cuban has declared his departure from ABC's hit series "Shark Tank" after a remarkable 13-season tenure. Cuban, 65, unveiled his plans during an appearance on the "All the Smoke" podcast, revealing that the show's upcoming 16th season will mark his final bow.

"This is our 15th year, and next year, our 16th year, is gonna be my last year," Cuban expressed, signaling the end of an era for the long-running business pitch show. Cuban's journey on "Shark Tank" began in 2012 when he joined the panel full-time, bringing his sharp business acumen and charismatic presence to the show.

His decision to leave, as he mentioned in the podcast with hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson, is a personal choice, emphasizing that "it's time" for him to embark on new ventures.

Shark Tank's Evolution

"Shark Tank," which first aired in August 2009, initially featured John Daymond, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, and Kevin O’Leary as the primary investors.

Cuban's entry into the show was as a guest judge in its second season, eventually becoming a regular investor from Season 3 onwards. His passion for the program was evident as he spoke about its impact: "I love it because it sends the message the American dream is alive and well." Cuban reflected on the inspirational aspect of the show, highlighting how it has motivated generations of entrepreneurs.

He shared anecdotes of contestants who grew up watching the show, illustrating its far-reaching influence. However, ABC has not officially confirmed Cuban's departure, and The Post's attempts to reach Cuban and the network for comments remained unanswered at the time of reporting.

Cuban, also known for owning the Dallas Mavericks, imparted some wisdom from his "Shark Tank" experience, emphasizing the value of business substance over personal backstories. He has always sought innovative ideas, often stating, "I look for ideas [where I'm] like, 'Damn, why didn't I think of that.'

" His time on the show wasn't without its debates, notably clashing with fellow shark Kevin O’Leary over business and social responsibility perspectives. Cuban's announcement has stirred reactions among the show's fans, with many expressing disappointment and admiration for his strategic insights and marketing prowess.

His unique approach and sharp business sense have been a highlight for many viewers. The decision to step back isn't a sudden one for Cuban, who had previously hinted at a possible exit. In a conversation with People last year, he expressed his love for the show but also his desire to prioritize family time, especially with his daughter now in college.

"Family first, always," Cuban reiterated, underscoring his commitment to balancing professional success with personal responsibilities. As Cuban prepares to say his final "I'm out" on "Shark Tank," his legacy as a shrewd investor and a charismatic television personality remains firmly established, leaving an indelible mark on the show and its audience.