James W. Keyes
James W. Keyes
|Alma mater||Bachelor of Science from College of the Holy Cross|
Columbia Business School MBA, 1980
|Known for||Chairman of Wild Oats Markets; previously, CEO of 7-Eleven and Blockbuster|
Keyes served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Blockbuster, Inc., from 2007 to 2011. While at Blockbuster, Keyes made the famously incorrect prediction ""Neither RedBox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition," two years before Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy. The rating agency Moody’s declared the company a liquidity risk in October 2008 because of the need to refinance a revolving credit facility in the face of challenging financial market conditions. This prediction caused Business Insider to feature Keyes in an article titled "13 times bosses mocked new technology and got it wrong" 
Under Keyes, Blockbuster was sold off and restructured, being described as an "important though tarnished brand name" . In 2011, Blockbuster was sold to Dish Network and Keyes was replaced by Michael Kelly, a Dish executive, under the new title of President for Blockbuster.
Keyes served as President and CEO of 7-Eleven from 2000 to 2005, retiring after 21 years with the company when it was sold to Seven & I Holdings Co. As President and CEO, Keyes implemented new retail systems technology that improved product assortment decisions. During Keyes' tenure there were nearly 40 quarters of improved same store sales and the stock price increased from $9 to $37.50.
Keyes previously served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer during his 21 years with 7-Eleven. Before 7-Eleven, he held various field and headquarters positions in a five-year tenure with Gulf Oil Corporation. He served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of 7-Eleven from May 1998 to April 2000. He also served as the Chief Financial Officer of 7-Eleven Inc from May 1996 to April 1998 and in other various capacities since 1985. Keyes joined CITGO Petroleum in 1985, which was then a subsidiary of 7-Eleven, Inc. Before starting at 7-Eleven, Keyes held various field and headquarters positions in a five-year tenure with Gulf Oil Corporation (which is now called Chevron).
Keyes is founder of the Education is Freedom foundation, which provides college scholarships for hard-working young students.
Keyes has been a Director of Murphy USA Inc. since August 2013.
In 2005, Keyes received the Horatio Alger Award, which is given to leaders in the community who exemplify "honesty, hard work, self reliance and perseverance". In 2008, he was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
- "Blockbuster Takes a Big Gulp". Fool.com. Retrieved March 9, 2009.