Col Needham

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Col Needham
Col Needham.jpg
Needham in 2002
Born (1967-01-26) 26 January 1967 (age 55)
Denton, Lancashire, England
OccupationFounder, CEO, and general manager of IMDb
Karen (nee Gaskin) Needham
(m. 1989)

Colin Needham (born 26 January 1967)[1] is a British computer engineer who is known as the founder and CEO of IMDb.[2] He has been general manager of IMDb since its acquisition by Amazon in 1998.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Needham was born in Denton, Lancashire,[1] and grew up on Stockport Road. He attended Audenshaw School and Clarendon Sixth Form College in Hyde. He graduated from the University of Leeds with a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science in 1988.[5]


IMDb was started in 1990 while Needham was working as an engineer in Bristol at Hewlett-Packard (HP).[1] The site evolved from what was initially his personal movie database, which became an internet bulletin board made from simple records, kept on a succession of early computers and contributed to by several persons, all of whom Needham outlasted.

By the summer of 1996, thanks to IMDb's first film-related advertising campaign (for Independence Day), Needham had quit HP to work on IMDb full-time as a paid employee.[6][7] In 1999, he collected two Webby Awards for IMDb.[8] In February 2017, Needham decided to remove the message boards from IMDb, stating that the message boards "are no longer providing a positive, useful experience for the vast majority of our more than 250 million monthly users worldwide".[9]

Personal life[edit]

Needham married Karen Gaskin in 1989. They have twin daughters and live in Filton, Gloucestershire. He is a fan of early 20th-century classical Russian composers, particularly Dmitri Shostakovich.[1][10]


  1. ^ a b c d Siklos, Richard (28 May 2006). "From a Small Stream, a Gusher of Movie Facts". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Col Needham Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
  3. ^ Col Needham at IMDb
  4. ^ Shoard, Catherine (12 May 2013). "Six degrees of IMDb founder Col Needham This man has seen 8,524 movies. How does he know? Because he invented the Internet Movie Database – the indispensable cinema encyclopaedia – and put Bristol on Hollywood's map". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 May 2013.
  5. ^ Glendinning, Amy. "I am IMDb: The millionaire film geek from Denton behind the world's top movie website". Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  6. ^ Finke, Nikki (5 August 2004). "Do You IMDb?". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  7. ^ "Col Needham's user profile – Internet Movie Database". IMDb. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
  8. ^ "3rd Annual Webby Awards Nominees & Winners". Webby Awards. Retrieved 19 October 2009.
  9. ^ "IMDb shuts down its message boards".
  10. ^ "Biography for Col Needham". IMDb. May 2012. Retrieved 26 October 2014.

External links[edit]