Between 2008 and June 2011, Ynon Kreiz ('93) served as chairman and CEO of Endemol, the world's largest independent television and digital production company. If you aren't familiar with the name, you'll be familiar with some of Endemol's productions, which include Big Brother, Wipeout, Deal or No Deal and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Kreiz began his ground-breaking entertainment career while at UCLA Anderson, where he met American-Israeli media mogul Haim Saban, who hired him in 1996 to launch Fox Kids Europe as part of a joint venture with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Within three years Kreiz had hired nearly 400 people in 17 countries and built a kid-vid juggernaut. By 1999, Fox Kids Europe was floated in the Amsterdam stock exchange and eventually sold to Disney in 2001.
Due to his remarkable career in television production, Kreiz was named one of Anderson's "100 Inspirational Alumni" in association with the school's 75th Anniversary. On July 30, 2011 Kreiz honored Dean Judy Olian's request to be the commencement speaker for the 2011 Executive MBA Class. Kreiz opened by telling the graduates that "you are about to enter a new phase in your life, a new chapter, one that will set a new direction for your career."
At about the 13:00 mark, Kriez says, "The last point I want to make may sound trivial. And that is, you must have a plan, because a goal without a plan is just a wish. But I can tell you a secret, the only thing we can be sure of, is that plans do not actually materialize actually as you planned them ... leave room for improvisation and make that part of our plan."
Be sure to watch the rest of the video -- there is a great story about the birth of Ynon's child and how the best plans don't always work out the way they were conceived.