Chris Ovitz is a big name in the technology start-up world. An entrepreneur at heart, he has worked at many organizations throughout his career. He has worked at Activision and Paramount Pictures but started the main part of his career at Ad.ly (a start-up that connects brands and advertisers). The next step he took was co-founding Viddy. This was a social media video app, sometimes considered the predecessor to Vine. He also spent some time at Scopely, a mobile gaming company. At the moment, Chris Ovitz serves as the co-founder and co-CEO of Workpop.
Workpop is a firm that provides a hiring platform for all sizes of businesses. The company focuses on providing the best experience for both candidates and those who are hiring them. It does away with the dry, resume-based hiring services of the past. Instead, candidates can upload videos to show their true personalities to their prospective employers. Chris Ovitz has found a lot of success throughout his career, and his term at Workpop is no exception. He isn’t your average CEO, however. There are quite a few things that anybody who is interested in the tech world might like to know about him. If that sounds like you, check out these Ten Things You Didn’t Know about Chris Ovitz.
He Is an Angel Investor
As the Workpop CEO became more successful, he began to expand into investment in other upstarts. For these other businesses, he serves as both investor and advisor based on his experience. Some of the companies he has invested in include Songza, Code.org, Mode Media, and RadPad.
He Recognizes the Need to Be Active on Social Media
Chris Ovitz has always remained active on social media. He advises other entrepreneurs to “get involved with the conversation”. After all, the more people that your firm interacts with, the more potential customers you will have. Nobody will notice a company that remains silent in the online world.
He Has Been Named to the Social Media Week 25
Social Media Week is a leading news platform and hosts global conferences with some frequency. They once released a list naming the Top 25 “Savvy Social Media Influencers” in their respective fields. Chris Ovitz made it on the list. He was still with Viddy at the time, which was directly related to social media.
He Has a Solid “Culture Document”
In Silicon Valley, the culture policies of various startups tend to be filled with buzzwords or mostly-useless information. Chris Ovitz and Workpop’s plan is unique, as it actually gives solid advice on treating coworkers with respect. While the exact details are a mystery, Ovitz’ plan would be useful for any tech startup.
He and Co-Founder Reed Shaffner Were Named Top CEOs
Comparably.com occasionally releases lists of the Top CEOs. They are rated by a variety of metrics, but most importantly they are based on the opinions of their employees. When Chris Ovitz and Reed Shaffner were included, they ranked seventh on the list. This proves that their employees respect them – a primary mark of a good CEO.
He Supports Gay Marriage
When the Supreme Court was still debating Obergefell v. Hodges, Workpop posted a status on Twitter voicing their support for the cause. Their inclusive, non-judgmental attitude shows that they have a respectful and diverse base to their company culture. The extension of this same attitude to the entire country is a great move, as well.
His Wife is an Entrepreneur
Chris Ovitz married someone a bit like him. His wife, Ara Katz, is the co-founder and former CMO of Spring – a mobile marketplace where people could shop for items from many brands. She was also on the founding team of BeachMint (an e-commerce platform that focuses on celebrity endorsements). She has even been named one of Marie Claire’s Most Inspiring Women.
He Attended a Prestigious Private High School
One of the best high schools in Santa Monica is the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences. It is a private program that was founded in 1971, and only has around 1000 students per grade level. The school has had alumni such as Kate Hudson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jonah Hill, and Jack Black. It also was the school of Evan Spiegel (founder of Snapchat) and Michael Heyward (founder of Whisper). So, Chris Ovitz was in good company at this school.
He Is the Son of Michael Ovitz
One of the more controversial figures in the entertainment industry is Chris Ovitz’ father, Michael Ovitz. He began as talent agent, and then co-founded the Creative Artists Agency. He was also the president of the Walt Disney Company for two years. Chris Ovitz might have big shoes to fill, but he has already struck out in his own unique direction and has found a lot of success.
He Is a Gamer
The Workpop CEO has always been a gamer. It was probably due to his fascination with gaming that he worked at Activision (and later Scopely). In fact, he even tried to start his own gaming company while he was in business school – an early entrepreneurial start that gave him some valuable experience.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker