Founder & CEO
Jeffrey B. Yapp is an accomplished corporate entrepreneur who has built a very successful career on his unique vision and ability to see opportunity where it isn’t obvious. His strength lies not only in his highly innovative ideas, but also in his ability to get things done regardless of the obstacles that lie in his path.
As Strategic Partner to Microsoft Corporation Yapp is an integral part of driving growth for Microsoft’s direct online and retail operations for the fastest growing division in Microsoft. Yapp spearheaded efforts for the successful opening of the first Microsoft flagship store outside North America in Sydney Australia, exceeding launch forecast by over 250%. He also directed and coordinated the Microsoft retail expansion in China with 19 stores and achieved one of the highest ROIs of any retail investment to date.
Yapp established a strategic marketing and consulting firm, with various clients, including Microsoft, Next Generation Media company, Vice Inc, Xbox, Windows and Swirl.
Over the course of his extensive career, Yapp has been committed to bringing innovation to the corporate environment. He served as Viacom’s Executive Vice President of Program Enterprises, where he was responsible for leading MTV, VH1, CMT and Logo brands into new business and platforms. In just four years, he grew the division from $15 million to over $1.4 billion. He oversaw several development groups responsible for an extensive array of ventures and new content opportunities including movie studios, gaming, sports, home entertainment, consumer products, radio networks, publishing and business development.
One of Yapp’s greatest successes resulted when he identified music and rhythm gaming as a significant strategic opportunity for Viacom. He completed a marketing partnership with Red Octane Gaming to introduce Guitar Hero 1, and established music and rhythm gaming as one of the fastest growing segments in the history of gaming. Yapp also led the team that successfully acquired Harmonix and was responsible for launching Rock Band 1 and 2, which achieved 50% of the entire music gaming category the year it was launched. His team subsequently completed the deal to develop and distribute the Beatles Rock Band game. Alex Rigopolus Founder and CEO of Harmonix said
“At MTV, Jeff was one of the few people who understood the potential of Guitar Hero and Rock Band from the very beginning. More important though he had the conviction to back that vision with action”
Yapp initiated and completed a deal with Jerry Bruckheimer to establish a new game development studio to produce a new gaming IP. He also conceived and closed a deal with NBC Sports to establish a joint venture in action sports for MTV and the Dew Tour.
Yapp developed and completed a joint venture with Vice Magazine to develop the highly successful Vice Media, which is now one of the hottest media networks in the world. Shane Smith Founder and CEO of Vice media has said
“Jeff Yapp is a true visionary, and I mean that literally. That word gets bandied about a lot these days but I have firsthand proof it’s called Vice”
Jeff’s team also received an Emmy for its achievements in the 3-D avatar-based virtual worlds, with the launch of Virtual Laguna Beach and Virtual Hills.
Yapp established the movie studios for MTV, VH1 and CMT, producing over $200 million in revenue. He received two Emmy nominations as executive producer for the film DALE, the authorized true store of Nascar legend Dale Earnhardt, which was also the highest rated movie in CMT’s history. He also approved the production for the movie Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges, Robert Duvall, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Colin Farrell. Crazy Heart had three Oscar Nominations and won Two Oscars for Best Actor Jeff Bridges and Best Original Song for T-bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham. Crazy Heart Producer Leslie Belzberg said
“Jeff saw the potential in Crazy Heart, where many did not. Even with a first time director and many of the unknowns surrounding the early production of this movie, he was willing to step up and make the decision to take a risk and make what he knew could actually be a hit”
Yapp served as president of the Retail group for Cablevision Systems Corporation, a $4.3 billion dollar communications company. Yapp was responsible for a complete reengineering of the retail concept for the company’s consumer electronics chain.
Yapp was President and Chief Operating Officer of the Hollywood Entertainment Corporation, where he expanded the number of stores from 750 to more than 1,800 with over 25,000 employees, and doubled sales revenues from $570 million to over $1.3 billion. While there, he negotiated pioneering revenue-sharing partnerships with all major movie studios that revolutionized the video business.
At 20th Century Fox, Jeff joined as President of the International Home Entertainment business. In less than three years, he grew that division from just over $250 million to over $600 million in revenue, and was then promoted to Worldwide President of Distribution. While at Fox, Yapp also worked with Lucas Film on the reintroduction of the Star Wars franchise, which became one of the most successful campaigns in the history of home entertainment. He also established The X-Files as one of the most popular TV programs on video in its time, with over 5 million units sold.
As Vice President, International Division for Ernes & Julio Gallo Winery, he established the international division, and grew it from a small export operation to encompass 45% of all U.S. wine exports. He introduced Gallo wines in over 50 countries, leading the brand to become the number one imported wine in the UK and Canada in less than two years. During his tenure, he received a Cannes Film Festival Honorable Mention and Gold Mobius for creative excellence.
Yapp’s professional career began at General Foods Corporation directly out of graduate school. He quickly moved up the ranks to the role of Product Group Manager of the Beverage Division, where he devised a marketing strategy that was unprecedented at the time, involving Countrytime Lemonade, then a languishing brand, and NASCAR. It resulted in Countrytime being the fastest growing brand in the division.
Jeffrey Yapp graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan with a bachelors’ degree in Business Administration, and with honors from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with a Master of Management degree.
Jeff’s greatest source of pride is his wife Tamara and their 7 children: Marlo, Kristine, Molly, Ryan, Kelli, CJ, and Nolen. His children attended Oregon State, Michigan, University of Arizona and Ball State University.