Michael Wolf (businessman)

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Michael J. Wolf
Michael Wolf Economist.png
Michael J. Wolf, November 11, 2014
Alma materColumbia University
OccupationFounder and CEO, Activate, Inc.
Board member ofiAmplify.com

Michael J. Wolf is the founder and CEO of Activate, Inc., a technology and strategy consulting firm based in New York City.


Wolf graduated from Columbia University with a B.A. degree.[1]


Wolf has served on the Board of Directors of several companies including: Yahoo!,[2][3] Entercom Communications Corporation,[4] iAmplify.com,[5] and on the Board of Advisors for Slide.com.[6] Wolf was the former President and Chief Operating Officer of MTV Networks.[7][8] During his tenure at MTV, Wolf became one of Mark Zuckerberg's early mentors, as chronicled in "The Facebook Effect", by David Kirkpatrick.[9] Wolf is a former Director of McKinsey & Company,[10] the international consultancy, and Head of its Global Media and Entertainment Practice. Before joining McKinsey in 2001,[11] Wolf was a Senior Partner with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he spearheaded its Media and Entertainment Group.[12] Wolf is the author of various publications on the subjects of entertainment,[13] economics,[14] non-fiction, e-business[15] strategies and the development of global media. Wolf was named by Silicon Alley 100 as one New York's Coolest Tech People In 2010, 2012 and 2013.[16]

On February 14, 2012, activist shareholder Daniel S. Loeb, of Third Point Partners, named Wolf as part of the proposed slate of directors for the board of Yahoo, Inc. After joining the board, Wolf helped recruit Marissa Mayer as Yahoo!'s President and CEO.

Work as writer and public speaker[edit]

Wolf's book on entertainment economics, "The Entertainment Economy: How Media Forces Are Transforming Our Lives" was published in the U.S. in 1999 and then globally. He is a frequent contributor and op-ed columnist for publications such as the Wall Street Journal,[17][18][19] Forbes,[20] and the New York Times, and has written for a number of journals and business publications.

Wolf is also a public speaker,[21] entertainment economist and leader of media and entertainment programs, including heading panels[22] at the World Economic Forum in Davos in 2009.

Work as Founder and CEO of Activate, Inc.[edit]

Activate is a management consultancy firm focused on technology, media and entertainment companies. The company was founded on February 1, 2010[23] by Wolf and Anil Dash[24] in New York. Silicon Valley became the site of Activate's second office.[25] Upon launch, Activate did not take fees for small companies but instead took equity in them and board seats.[26]

Activate works with CEOs and senior management teams to drive company growth. It works with businesses on digital and go-to-market strategy and creates new media products and companies inside large businesses. The company does not reveal its clients but the founders have stated in the past that clients included a large Internet company, a firm in the magazine business and a sports league.[27]

The firm is known for issuing its annual Activate Outlook[28] report on the state of the tech, media, and entertainment industries. Wolf delivered the presentation at the 2015 WSJD conference[29] and in 2014 at the Fortune Brainstorm conference.[30]


  • The Entertainment Economy - Random House, New York, 1999, ISBN 0-8129-3042-8

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Michael Wolf - Forbes". People.forbes.com. 2012-04-18. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  2. ^ "Activist Investor Charts Plan to Revitalize Yahoo". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  3. ^ 'Yahoo Appoints Michael J. Wolf to Board of Directors." Seeking Alpha. May 14, 2012' (05.14.2012) Seeking Alpha at SeekingAlpha.com.com
  4. ^ 'Entercom Communications Corp. Appoints Michael J. Wolf to Board of Directors." Reuters. February 12, 2008' (02.12.2008) Reuters at Reuters.com
  5. ^ iAmplify, Searching for online video's holy grail." Fortune. February 4 2008." Reuters. February 12, 2008'[permanent dead link] (02.04.2008) Fortune at CNNmoney.com
  6. ^ HollywoodReporter, Michael J. Wolf joins Slide advisory board" Hollywoodreporter.com." April 30, 2009' (04.30.2009) Hollywood Reporter at Hollywoodreporter.com
  7. ^ MTV Is Expected to Appoint Media Strategist as President." The New York Times November 01, 2005
  8. ^ Wolf is big dog at MTV." Daily Variety. November 2, 2005' (11.02.2005) Daily Variety at findarticles.com.com
  9. ^ The Facebook Effect, by David Kirkpatrick, (05.06.10), CCN at CNN.com
  10. ^ 'McKinsey WEF Biographies" ' Archived 2005-11-02 at the Wayback Machine. (2004) Mckinsey & Company at mckinsey.com
  11. ^ 'Michael Wolf Joins Rival McKinsey & Co." The Los Angeles Times. March 9, 2001." LA Times. March' (03.09.2001) LA Times at latimes.com
  12. ^ Forbes Magazine, "Mergermania in Medialand", Interview with Michael J. Wolf, Forbes. Published Forbes Magazine, October 23, 1995, (10.23.1995)
  13. ^ The Wall Street Journal, "Here Comes Another Wave Of Media Mergers.", Published Wall Street Journal, (02.21.2002)
  14. ^ The Wall Street Journal, "Digitizing MGM's Roar." The Wall Street Journal.", Published Wall Street Journal, (04.27.2004)
  15. ^ "Will Social Networks on The Web Ever Make Money?" Forbes Online' (02.19.2009) Forbes at Forbes.com
  16. ^ "Michael was named by Silicon Alley 100 as one New York's Coolest Tech People In 2010, 2012, and 2013." Business Insider' (10.26.2010) Business Insider at businessinsider.com
  17. ^ The Wall Street Journal, "Musical Bandits", (05.01.2003)
  18. ^ The Wall Street Journal, "In TV Land, Bigger Is Better", (08.21.2000)
  19. ^ The Wall Street Journal, "The Triumph of Broadband", (Jan.2000)
  20. ^ Forbes Magazine, "Convergence", (August.2000)
  21. ^ 'Michael J Wolf, The customer is in control." SIME Conference 2008.' (2008) Blip.tv
  22. ^ 'World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2009'[permanent dead link], (Jan.2009), Info Systems at infosys.com
  23. ^ "Activate | crunchbase". www.crunchbase.com. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  24. ^ Dash, Anil. "Hi, I'm Anil Dash". anildash.com. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  25. ^ "Michael Wolf and Anil Dash Brace Media For The New World". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  26. ^ "Media vets Wolf and Dash launch Activate". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  27. ^ Ovide, Shira. "Tech, Media Veterans Team Up on New Consulting Firm". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  28. ^ "Think Again" (PDF). Wall Street Journal. 20 October 2015. Retrieved 26 September 2016.
  29. ^ "Epic slide deck from former Yahoo board member lays out the future of tech and media". Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  30. ^ "9 Lessons Learned at Fortune Brainstorm Tech". Retrieved 2016-10-03.

External links[edit]

MTV Networks

MTV Networks: CMT | Comedy Central | Logo | MTV | MTV2 | MTV En Español | MTV Networks Europe | MTV Networks Latin America | Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite/Nick Jr. | Noggin/The N | Spike TV | TV Land | VH1 | iFilm | Neopets | GameTrailers | NickToons Network | Nick GAS
Misc. Assets: BET | Paramount Pictures | Republic Pictures | Famous Music | DreamWorks