Michael Leeds served as Chairperson of the Leeds School of Business Advisory Board from 2002 to 2007. In 2001, he led his family’s endowment of the University of Colorado’s then College of Business to increase academic excellence, expand its curriculum to include Ethics and Social Responsibility as part of the core-curriculum and to increase diversity in the student body, the faculty and the PHD program. He continues to be very active in the Board’s leadership as Chair Emeritus.
Until 1999 Michael was President and CEO of CMP Media, Inc., one of the leading media companies focused on technology, computers and the Internet. Under his leadership, CMP was selected as one of Fortune Magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” and consistently recognized in Working Women’s “100 Best Companies for Women to Work for.” Mike was named Ernst and Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year New York - Region in 1998. He was named one of Newsday’s “40 under 40” to watch in 1989.
After joining CMP in 1984 to launch a Travel division and Business Travel News, Mike led the company from 1988 through 1999 including taking the company public and reaching nearly $500 million in sales. As the technology industry grew and flourished, he recognized the coming shift from print newspapers and magazines to the Internet and web-based media. Subsequently, Mike managed the sale of CMP to United Business Media (UBM) for nearly a billion dollars in 1999. (Not so coincidently, in 1994 Mike had sold CMP’s Travel Division to UBM.)
The CMP sale was a win for shareholders and employees. The company had gone public at $22 per share in 1997 and sold at $39 per share less than two years later. In addition to shares the employees had received and purchased following the company’s IPO, the 2,000 employees shared in a $50 million gift from the Leeds Family after sale. Long term employees received at least six figures.
Since the sale of CMP, Michael has pursued business interests and focused intensively on philanthropic activities. He and his wife Andrea, through their Harbor Glow Foundation, are active in education, healthcare and Jewish causes. Of course, the Leeds School of Business is one of his top priorities.
Mike earned his BS in business administration from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1974. In partnership with Dr. Donna Sockell, Michael developed and taught the Leeds School course: Leadership and Ethics—Challenges in Moral Courage. Annually Mike addresses the Leadership Challenges class, mentors students and graduates as well as engaging with students and alums in classes and other events. Currently he serves on the Leeds Advisory Board and the Leeds School’s Center for Ethics and Social Responsibility Board.
Michael and his wife Andrea live in Beaver Creek Colorado. They have 3 daughters, a son-in-law and 2 grandsons! Michael has flown and managed a corporate jet and teaches skiing at Beaver Creek. He has over 500 skydives including 2 from El Capitan in Yosemite National Park.