Corbis To Promote Gary Shenk To CEO

Posted on 4/10/2007 by Jim Pickerell | Printable Version | Comments (0)



April 10, 2007

Effective July 1, 2007, Gary Shenk, President of Corbis, will assume the role of Chief Executive Officer. After 14 years with the company, 10 as CEO, Steve Davis will transition out of a day-to-day role to pursue new leadership opportunities in the public service and philanthropic world.

Corbis announced a carefully planned transition process, endorsed by Corbis' Chairman Bill Gates, to ensure that there is a smooth and orderly transfer of Davis' daily responsibilities. Effective immediately all Corbis officers will report to Gary in his role as president. However, Davis will continue to serve as a senior advisor beyond June 2007.

This announcement continues a leadership succession process that has been underway for more than a year. As part of the plan to ensure strategy and knowledge transfer, Shenk who is widely recognized for emphasizing a customer-focused approach to Corbis' business was promoted to President of Corbis in November, 2006. In that role he assumed oversight of marketing, sales and the creative services businesses including rights and music clearances, rights representation, artist representation and media management.

Shenk came to Corbis in 2003 when the company purchased FlixMix, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Universal Studios that at the time was one of Hollywood's leading rights clearance agencies. Gary was founder and general manager of FlixMix. In Hollywood he was instrumental in establishing new licensing formats and brokering deals between studios and talent agencies.

This rights clearance line of business has helped Corbis diversify from being solely dependent on rights licensing, and in the past three years has been the fastest growing segment of the company's business recording $30.1 million in revenue in 2006, a 44% growth for the year.

"Gary is a natural leader and an ideal person to assume the role of CEO," said Gates. "He has the energy, focus, discipline and proven track record to maximize Corbis' assets by further improving business operations and fostering innovation to best serve customers."

"The opportunity before us has never been greater," Shenk said. "We have strategically invested in acquiring and creating the best pictures, built the most comprehensive rights services offering and expanded our presence and brand globally. We are well positioned to be the creative partner of choice to our customers around the world and to take Corbis to the next level."

"I want to thank Steve for his tremendous contributions to Corbis," said Bill Gates. "Corbis was created as much by Steve as by me, since he and I first collaborated when the company was in its infancy. Steve's vision, entrepreneurial skills, industry leadership and global management capabilities have transformed it from one of the earliest internet startups, to a global brand with industry-leading growth and services. Today, Corbis has become the definitive creative resources company helping creative professionals in advertising, marketing and media to succeed in bringing their work to life."

"This was a hard decision for me," Davis said. "I'm very lucky to have many different interests and passions that I feel are important and challenging, and now is the time for me to explore those other interests. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Corbis is brighter than ever."

With Davis' long history of community volunteerism, playing significant leadership roles in organizations such as the PATH, United Way, NPower, Technology Alliance, Fred Hutchinson, Lambda Legal Defense, Seattle Foundation and many others, he looks forward to dedicating more professional energy in this sector.

Shenk began his relationship with Universal as a leader in the media and entertainment practice of The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). Among his other accomplishments, Shenk holds an M.B.A in Finance from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A in Social Studies from Harvard College. Shenk, 36, is married with three children.

Corbis, founded by Bill Gates in 1989, has more than 1100 employees in 24 cities in 16 countries around the world, reported more than $251 million in revenue in 2006, an 11 percent increase from the previous year.

Copyright © 2007 Jim Pickerell. The above article may not be copied, reproduced, excerpted or distributed in any manner without written permission from the author. All requests should be submitted to Selling Stock at 10319 Westlake Drive, Suite 162, Bethesda, MD 20817, phone 301-461-7627, e-mail: wvz@fpcubgbf.pbz

Jim Pickerell is founder of, an online newsletter that publishes daily. He is also available for personal telephone consultations on pricing and other matters related to stock photography. He occasionally acts as an expert witness on matters related to stock photography. For his current curriculum vitae go to:  


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