Jim Jannard

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James Jannard
BornJune 8, 1949
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Southern California (dropped out)
Known forfounder of Oakley, Inc.
founder of Red Digital Cinema Camera Company

James Jannard (born June 8, 1949)[1] is an American designer, businessman and founder of Oakley, Inc., an eyewear and apparel company; and Red Digital Cinema Camera Company.

Early life and career[edit]

Jannard was born in Los Angeles, the son of a pharmacist.[2] He was raised in Alhambra, California and was graduated from Alhambra High School.[1] He attended the USC School of Pharmacy, but dropped out to travel the southwestern U.S. on a motorcycle.[3][2]

In 1975, Jannard started a one-man business selling motorcycle parts out of his car at motocross events. He named his company after his dog, Oakley.[3] He began developing his own products, including custom handlebar grips that conformed to the shape of one's hand,[2] motorcycle goggles, ski goggles and sunglasses.[3] Oakley sunglasses were used by bicycle racer Greg LeMond, raising the company's profile.[3] In the 1980s, Jannard restricted the sale of Oakley sunglasses to the Sunglass Hut, although small specialty shops could continue to sell Oakley sunglasses.[2] In 1991, his company had 200 employees.[3] In 1995, the company went public.[2] Jannard sold Oakley in November 2007 for $2.1 billion to Italian company Luxottica, the world's largest eyewear manufacturer and retailer.[4]

In 2005, Jannard started Red Digital Cinema Camera Company, maker of the some of the most popular digital cinema cameras in the industry.[5] In 2009, he was named one of the 100 Most Creative People by Fast Company Magazine.[6]

On Oct. 24, 2019, Jannard announced his retirement, citing his age and "a few health issues."[7]

Personal life[edit]

Jannard owns the Fiji islands of Kaibu and Vatu Vara.[8] He also owns the 500-acre Spieden Island in the San Juan Islands archipelago.[3] In 1999, Jannard purchased two properties in Newport Beach, California for about $15 million.[9] In 2019 Jannard divorced his wife Misha.


  1. ^ a b City of Alhambra: "Famous Residents & Graduates from Alhambra" Archived 2010-12-13 at the Wayback Machine retrieved September 9, 2013
  2. ^ a b c d e Ed Leibowitz (March 16, 1997). "A trip to Planet Oakley". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Andrew Tilin (July 2012). "Supreme O - It all started with a pair of sunglasses. 441 patents later, Oakley hopes its sports gear will make extreme history". Wired.
  4. ^ Bellantonio, Jennifer. "Why Jannard Opted to Sell: Price, Changes, Side Project". AllBusiness.com. Archived from the original on October 7, 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  5. ^ Mendelovich, Yossy (2019-05-23). "The Cameras Behind Cannes 2019: From Cheap Camcorders to High-end ALEXA". Y.M.Cinema - News & Insights on Digital Cinema. Retrieved 2021-12-19.
  6. ^ [1] Archived December 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Everything changes". h4vuser.net. 24 October 2019.
  8. ^ Lealea, Sai (2010-10-23). "Sun Glass Billionaire Buys Kaibu and Vatuvara Islands in Northern Fiji". YacataFiji.Org. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  9. ^ "Oakley CEO Buys Home (and View) for $7 Million". Los Angeles Times. 1999-10-12. Retrieved 2013-09-15.

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