Michael Eisner, the former CEO of the Walt Disney Company and now the driving force behind online content companies Vuguru and Veoh, will deliver a keynote at the upcoming MIPCOM, which takes place in Cannes October 13-17, 2008.
In his speech, Eisner will share his vision of a digital entertainment industry that brings the consumer, the producer and the distributor closer together. With his new ventures, Vuguru, a production and distribution company for videos on digital platforms, and Veoh, an Internet TV broadcasting system, Eisner is aiming to foster innovation, to launch new talents, to produce new quality scripted content, and to distribute short formats sold direct to the consumer.
Eisner began his career at ABC, where he helped take the network from Number Three to Number One in primetime, daytime and children's television with such landmark shows as HAPPY DAYS, BARNEY MILLER, RICH MAN POOR MAN and ROOTS. In 1976, he became president of Paramount Pictures, turning out such hit films as RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, GREASE, and TERMS OF ENDEARMENT.
This string of critically acclaimed and blockbuster films led the studio to become number one in box office and profitability in both theatrical movies and network television production. In 1984 he assumed the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company and, in the ensuing 21 years, transformed it from a film and theme park company with $1.8 billion in enterprise value into a global media empire valued at $80 billion.
In 2005, Eisner founded the Tornante Company; a privately held company that makes investments in and incubates companies and opportunities in the media and entertainment space. Through the Tornante Company, he created Vuguru, a new media studio that produces Internet content and emerging digital platforms. Vuguru's first production, PROM QUEEN, quickly became an Internet sensation and was later nominated for a Broadband Emmy.
The series was such a huge success it spawned a 15 episode spin-off series, PROM QUEEN: SUMMER HEAT, which combined, garnered 20 million views over the course of its initial run. PROM QUEEN is now available in multiple territories and languages globally, including Australia, Brazil, France, Japan, New Zealand, Russia (including the Commonwealth of Individual States), Scandinavia and The United Kingdom.
Tornante holds an ownership stake in Veoh Networks, an innovative, new independent Internet television broadcasting system and wholly owns Team Baby Entertainment, the premier producer of an award winning series of officially licensed sports themed children's DVD's.
In October 2007, Tornante and Madison Dearborn Partners acquired The Topps Company, a leading creator and marketer of sports and related cards, entertainment products, and distinctive confectionery items. Eisner plans to transform Topps, through the media of filmed entertainment, Internet and television, into a full-fledged sports media company. Eisner and Topps are presently developing a film featuring the iconic eye-patch wearing comic hero Bazooka Joe.
In January 2008, Vuguru announced a ground-breaking partnership with world-renowned author Robin Cook. A 50-episode online prequel series will account the days leading up to the launch of his new novel, FOREIGN BODY, a first-of-its-kind collaboration that will debut in May 2008.
In addition, Vuguru recently launched its second original web series THE-ALL-FOR-NOTS, a comedy that follows a documentary crew filming a fictional indie rock band as they travel the U.S. on an under-funded and poorly planned tour.