Michael Wolf (businessman)

Michael Wolf (businessman)

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.


Wolf has served on the Board of Directors of several companies including: Yahoo!, Entercom Communications Corporation, iAmplify.com, and on the Board of Advisors for Slide.com. Wolf was the former President and Chief Operating Officer of MTV Networks. During his tenure at MTV, Wolf became one of Mark Zuckerberg's early mentors, as chronicled in "The Facebook Effect", by David Kirkpatrick. Wolf is a former Director of McKinsey & Company, the international consultancy, and Head of its Global Media and Entertainment Practice. Before joining McKinsey in 2001, Wolf was a Senior Partner with Booz Allen Hamilton, where he spearheaded its Media and Entertainment Group. Wolf is the author of various publications on the subjects of entertainment, economics, non-fiction, e-business 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.

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

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, Forbes, and the New York Times, and has written for a number of journals and business publications.

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

Work as Founder and CEO of Activate, Inc.

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

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


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




Further reading


Documentaries, videos and podcasts



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