The fifth installment of The Information’s Free Agents, a group of prominent tech and media professionals between full-time roles, includes executives previously responsible for the images of tech giants like Intel and Facebook.
Two of our free agents built some of the most storied franchises in U.S. television history, while one then plunged into tech with mixed results. The other former TV bigwig on our list built up the Bravo channel and pioneered affluent reality-TV series like “Top Chef” and “Real Housewives.”
Overall, their stories point to lessons like the value of finding a senior mentor to follow within a large organization and the pitfalls of jumping to tech companies from traditional media like Hollywood or the news business.
Several, like Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius, launched startups. Last week, David Sacks, the former CEO of Yammer, took a COO job at pre-IPO Zenefits, a human-resources software firm. And Andy Forssell, who was recently interim CEO at video site Hulu, now runs startup video app ShowYou.
Tim Morse, a former Yahoo CFO who knows more about the newly public Alibaba Group (in which Yahoo is an investor) than almost any American tech executive, took his balance-sheet skills to Auction.com. And John Riccitiello, who made a name for himself as Electronic Arts’ longtime CEO, got the top job at privately held game-development firm Unity Technologies.
Here’s the final group of the year: