Mika Salmi is CEO of Greylock Ventures-backed creativeLIVE, Inc., the world’s leading online classroom for the creative entrepreneur. creativeLIVE has been profitable since its inception in April 2010 and has taught over a million people in over 200 countries.
A Finnish-born American entrepreneur and pioneer in new media, Salmi previously was President of Global Digital Media for MTV Networks/Viacom, where he oversaw more than 1500 employees in 60 countries and worked across MTVN’s many brands, including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, MTV, and 30 others. Upon joining Viacom, Salmi correctly predicted the trend towards fragmentation online, championed an open approach to media ahead of other major players, and increased Viacom’s presence in the growing area of games—helping Viacom more than quadruple its digital revenues.
Prior to that Salmi was 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, and in helping transform MTV Networks into a global leader in new media have earned Mika Salmi widespread recognition as a visionary in his field. Other companies where Salmi is serving or has served on the Board of Directors include innovators in technology and clean energy. These are Pressplane (Seattle), Fuzz (San Francisco), Elisa (largest telecom in Finland), Blinkbox (London), Songbird (San Francisco), ImageMetrics (Los Angeles), Shockwave KK (Japan), and Propel Renewable Fuels (Seattle).
Salmi is also a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (Emmys) and serves on the Board of Directors of INSEAD, the global business school with 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.