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Michael Ovitz

Co-Founder of CAA & Former President of The Walt Disney Company

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 Michael Ovitz Biography

Michael S. Ovitz is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is a talent agent who co-founded Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 1975 and served as its chairman until 1995. Ovitz later served as President of The Walt Disney Company from October 1995 to January 1997.

Ovitz founded Creative Artists Agency in 1975 along with fellow William Morris Agents Ron Meyer, Bill Haber, Rowland Perkins, and Mike Rosenfeld. Borrowing only $21,000 from a bank, the agents rented a small office, conducting business on card tables and rented chairs, their wives taking turns as agency receptionist.

Under his direction, CAA quickly grew from a start-up organization to the world’s leading talent agency, expanding from television into film, investment banking, and advertising. Ovitz was known for assembling “package deals”, wherein CAA would utilize its talent base to provide directors, actors and screenwriters to a studio, thus shifting the negotiating leverage from the studios to the talent. As CAA rose in stature Ovitz became one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Promoted to President, then to Chairman of the Board, his roles at CAA were numerous. He served as talent agent to Hollywood actors Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Costner, John Belushi, Michael Douglas, Bill Murray, Sylvester Stallone, and Barbra Streisand, as well as directors Steven Spielberg, Barry Levinson, and Sydney Pollack. He also provided corporate consulting services, helping negotiate several major international business mergers and deals including Matsushita’s acquisition of MCA/Universal, the financial rescue of MGM/United Artists, and Sony’s acquisition of Columbia Pictures. His signing of Coca-Cola as a CAA client from agency McCann-Erickson had a significant impact on the advertising industry.[10] He negotiated David Letterman's move from NBC to CBS, chronicled in the book The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night by Bill Carter.

Ovitz resigned from CAA in 1995 to become president of The Walt Disney Company under chairman Michael Eisner. Ovitz quickly grew frustrated with his role in the company and vague definition of duties. After a tumultuous year as Eisner's second in command, he was dismissed by Eisner in January 1997 and left Disney with a (previously agreed upon) severance package valued at $38 million in cash and an estimated $100 million in stock.

Disney shareholders later sued Eisner and Disney's board of directors for awarding Ovitz such a large severance package. Later court proceedings reflect that Ovitz' stock options were granted when he was hired to induce him to join the company, not granted when he was fired. In 2005 the court upheld Disney's payment.

Ovitz now acts as a private investor who has informally advised the careers of luminaries such as Martin Scorsese. Active in philanthropy, he donated $25 million in 1999 to spearhead fund raising efforts for UCLA's Medical Center, and has contributed significantly to numerous other philanthropic endeavors. A private investor and businessman, his notable activities have ranged from attempts to bring an NFL team to the Los Angeles Coliseum to ventures in online media.

Ovitz is considered among the world's top 200 art collectors. He owns works by Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and many others.

His daughter is New York fashion designer Kimberly Ovitz.

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Who Is Michael Ovitz?

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  • HOW TO BOOK Michael Ovitz?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Michael Ovitz for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Michael Ovitz, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Michael Ovitz or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO BOOK Michael Ovitz?

    Booking fees for Michael Ovitz, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Michael Ovitz, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • WHO IS THE AGENT FOR Michael Ovitz?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Michael Ovitz for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Michael Ovitz for your next private or corporate function.
  • WHAT IS A FULL-SERVICE TALENT BOOKING AGENCY?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Michael Ovitz or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Michael Ovitz or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.
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This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

Michael Ovitz

Co-Founder of CAA & Former President of The Walt Disney Company

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Michael Ovitz Biography

Michael S. Ovitz is an American businessman, investor, and philanthropist. He is a talent agent who co-founded Creative Artists Agency (CAA) in 1975 and served as its chairman until 1995. Ovitz later served as President of The Walt Disney Company from October 1995 to January 1997.

Ovitz founded Creative Artists Agency in 1975 along with fellow William Morris Agents Ron Meyer, Bill Haber, Rowland Perkins, and Mike Rosenfeld. Borrowing only $21,000 from a bank, the agents rented a small office, conducting business on card tables and rented chairs, their wives taking turns as agency receptionist.

Under his direction, CAA quickly grew from a start-up organization to the world’s leading talent agency, expanding from television into film, investment banking, and advertising. Ovitz was known for assembling “package deals”, wherein CAA would utilize its talent base to provide directors, actors and screenwriters to a studio, thus shifting the negotiating leverage from the studios to the talent. As CAA rose in stature Ovitz became one of the most powerful men in Hollywood. Promoted to President, then to Chairman of the Board, his roles at CAA were numerous. He served as talent agent to Hollywood actors Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Costner, John Belushi, Michael Douglas, Bill Murray, Sylvester Stallone, and Barbra Streisand, as well as directors Steven Spielberg, Barry Levinson, and Sydney Pollack. He also provided corporate consulting services, helping negotiate several major international business mergers and deals including Matsushita’s acquisition of MCA/Universal, the financial rescue of MGM/United Artists, and Sony’s acquisition of Columbia Pictures. His signing of Coca-Cola as a CAA client from agency McCann-Erickson had a significant impact on the advertising industry.[10] He negotiated David Letterman's move from NBC to CBS, chronicled in the book The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night by Bill Carter.

Ovitz resigned from CAA in 1995 to become president of The Walt Disney Company under chairman Michael Eisner. Ovitz quickly grew frustrated with his role in the company and vague definition of duties. After a tumultuous year as Eisner's second in command, he was dismissed by Eisner in January 1997 and left Disney with a (previously agreed upon) severance package valued at $38 million in cash and an estimated $100 million in stock.

Disney shareholders later sued Eisner and Disney's board of directors for awarding Ovitz such a large severance package. Later court proceedings reflect that Ovitz' stock options were granted when he was hired to induce him to join the company, not granted when he was fired. In 2005 the court upheld Disney's payment.

Ovitz now acts as a private investor who has informally advised the careers of luminaries such as Martin Scorsese. Active in philanthropy, he donated $25 million in 1999 to spearhead fund raising efforts for UCLA's Medical Center, and has contributed significantly to numerous other philanthropic endeavors. A private investor and businessman, his notable activities have ranged from attempts to bring an NFL team to the Los Angeles Coliseum to ventures in online media.

Ovitz is considered among the world's top 200 art collectors. He owns works by Pablo Picasso, Jasper Johns, Willem de Kooning, Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko, and many others.

His daughter is New York fashion designer Kimberly Ovitz.

Michael Ovitz Videos

  • Michael Ovitz on His Legacy in Hollywood, CAA, & The Book That ...
    On episode 293 of the #AskGaryVee Show, the legendary business man and author, Michael Ovitz stops by and we talk about: - Creative Artists ...
  • Legendary agent Michael Ovitz discusses Netflix's brilliant takedown ...
    Michael Ovitz, co-founder of Creative Artists Agency, which represents actors like Tom Cruise and Robert De Niro, said on CNBC's Halftime ...
  • The Best Advice Ever for Succeeding In Record Time | Michael Ovitz
    This episode is brought to you by our friends at Blinkist. Go to https://www.blinkist. com/nc/partners/... to get unlimited access for 1 week to try...

Michael Ovitz Books

FAQs on booking Michael Ovitz

  • How to book Michael Ovitz?

    Our booking agents have successfully helped clients around the world secure talent like Michael Ovitz for speaking engagements, personal appearances, product endorsements, or corporate entertainment for over 15 years. The team at All American Entertainment represents and listens to the needs of organizations and corporations seeking to hire keynote speakers, celebrities or entertainers. Fill out a booking request form for Michael Ovitz, or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to discuss your upcoming event. One of our experienced agents will be happy to help you get pricing information and check availability for Michael Ovitz or any other celebrity of your choice.
  • How much does it cost to book Michael Ovitz?

    Booking fees for Michael Ovitz, or any other speakers and celebrities, are determined based on a number of factors and may change without notice. Pricing often varies according to the circumstances, including the talent's schedule, market conditions, length of presentation, and the location of the event. Speaker fees listed on this website are intended to serve as a guideline only. In some cases, the actual quote may be above or below the stated range. For the most current fee to hire Michael Ovitz, please fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536 to speak with an experienced booking agent.
  • Who is the agent for Michael Ovitz?

    All American Entertainment has successfully secured celebrity talent like Michael Ovitz for clients worldwide for more than 15 years. As a full-service talent booking agency, we have access to virtually any speaker or celebrity in the world. Our agents are happy and able to submit an offer to the speaker or celebrity of your choice, letting you benefit from our reputation and long-standing relationships in the industry. Fill out the booking request form or call our office at 1.800.698.2536, and one of our agents will assist you to book Michael Ovitz for your next private or corporate function.
  • What is a full-service talent booking agency?

    All American Speakers is a "buyers agent" and exclusively represents talent buyers, meeting planners and event professionals, who are looking to secure celebrities and speakers for personal appearances, speaking engagements, corporate entertainment, public relations campaigns, commercials, or endorsements. We do not exclusively represent Michael Ovitz or claim ourselves as the exclusive booking agency, business manager, publicist, speakers bureau or management for Michael Ovitz or any other speaker or celebrity on this website. For more information on how we work and what makes us unique, please read the AAE Advantage.

Michael Ovitz is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics . The estimated speaking fee range to book Michael Ovitz for your event is available upon request. Michael Ovitz generally travels from and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are René Carayol, Sonia McDonald, Andy Molinsky, Matt Kincaid and Martin Lanik. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Michael Ovitz for an upcoming event.

Michael Ovitz Speaker Videos

  • Michael Ovitz on His Legacy in Hollywood, CAA, & The Book That ...
    On episode 293 of the #AskGaryVee Show, the legendary business man and author, Michael Ovitz stops by and we talk about: - Creative Artists ...
    Legendary agent Michael Ovitz discusses Netflix's brilliant takedown ...
    Michael Ovitz, co-founder of Creative Artists Agency, which represents actors like Tom Cruise and Robert De Niro, said on CNBC's Halftime ...
  • The Best Advice Ever for Succeeding In Record Time | Michael Ovitz
    This episode is brought to you by our friends at Blinkist. Go to https://www.blinkist. com/nc/partners/... to get unlimited access for 1 week to try it ...

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Speakers Similar to Michael Ovitz

This website is a resource for event professionals and strives to provide the most comprehensive catalog of thought leaders and industry experts to consider for speaking engagements. A listing or profile on this website does not imply an agency affiliation or endorsement by the talent.

All American Entertainment (AAE) exclusively represents the interests of talent buyers, and does not claim to be the agency or management for any speaker or artist on this site. AAE is a talent booking agency for paid events only. We do not handle requests for donation of time or media requests for interviews, and cannot provide celebrity contact information.

If you are the talent, and wish to request removal from this catalog or report an issue with your profile, please click here.

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