Mika Salmi is Finnish-born American entrepreneur, executive and pioneer in technology and media. He currently serves on numerous Boards among them CreativeLive, INSEAD and Feed.fm.
Most recently, Mika served as CEO of CreativeLive. CreativeLive is transforming the $100 billion continuing education market by offering frictionless access to expert instructors through a social video platform. Under his leadership, the company grew from 8 to 85 employees, revenues increased over 600% and the company raised over $30m from Greylock Partners, Social+Capital Partnership and other top tier investors.
Before CreativeLive, Salmi founded and was CEO of a GPS and mobile-based game company, Mad Races, that was sold to Betaworks in 2010. After the sale, he advised Betaworks on product development.
Prior to that Salmi was President of Global Digital Media for MTV Networks/Viacom, where he oversaw more than 1500 employees in 60 countries and worked across Viacom’s many brands, including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and 30 others. Upon joining Viacom, Salmi correctly predicted the trends of online fragmentation, growth in mobile, and the integration of traditional media with digital —helping Viacom more than quadruple its digital revenues to over $1bn.
Salmi was formerly CEO and Founder of Atom Entertainment, which sold to Viacom for US$200 million in 2006. In 1998 Salmi established the company’s first brand, AtomFilms, having recognized the promise of short-form content and the use of new digital platforms for its distribution. Atom Films is seen today as a pioneer in online video and was one of the first user-generated video sites—years before the advent of YouTube. AtomFilms merged with Shockwave.com, the Internet’s first casual games company, in 2000. Later renamed Atom Entertainment, the company purchased AddictingGames in 2005, which has become one of the largest casual game companies on the web.
Salmi’s success in establishing one of the world’s first online entertainment companies, Atom Entertainment, in helping transform MTV Networks into a global leader in new media and in promoting CreativeLive’s leadership in online education have earned Mika Salmi widespread recognition as a visionary in his field.
Some companies where Salmi is serving or has served on the Board of Directors include Pressplane (acquired by RealSelf), Feed.fm (formerly blip.fm), Elisa (largest telecom in Finland), Blinkbox (acquired by Tesco), Sulake (acquired by Elisa), ImageMetrics (IPO), Shockwave KK (acquired by Transcosmos/Japan), and Propel Renewable Fuels (innovator in alternative energy distribution). He is also an active Board member at the top 5 ranked global business school, INSEAD, which has campuses in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi.
Throughout his career Salmi has been on the forefront of new developments. He started in the music business, where he discovered and signed the Grammy-awarded, multi-platinum Nine Inch Nails. In the early 1990s, he was among the first Western music executives to explore opportunities in post-communist Eastern Europe for EMI Music. Later, at Real Networks, the inventive digital audio and video company, Salmi successfully cultivated and cemented the first relationships between an Internet company and major media players.
Regularly included in lists of industry and cultural trailblazers, Salmi has appeared in Vanity Fair, Hollywood Reporter, Forbes, Fortune, Wired and numerous international publications. He has been profiled by The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Fortune, Newsweek, USA Today, Business Week, and several other US and foreign newspapers. Salmi has appeared on television news programs and morning talk shows, including ABC News, BBC News, CNN, CNBC, and The Today Show, and has delivered high profile keynote speeches around the world.
Mika Salmi was born in Finland and speaks Finnish, French, and English fluently, with proficiency in Spanish. He graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and earned his MBA from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France.