Entrepreneur | Philanthropist | Innovator

Jeff Yapp Biography

Education

Jeff Yapp graduated from the University of Michigan with a BA in Marketing and Operations in 1980. Throughout his undergrad he was the President of the University Activities Council, the University’s programming arm, President of the IFC, Chairman of Greek Week, and a member of the Michiguma Leadership Fraternity. A year later, Jeff received a Masters degree in Marketing, Finance, and Operations from Northwestern University.

Philanthropy

Since graduating from the University of Michigan, Jeff has made it a priority to give back to his community. As a member of the Rollicking Crew, Jeff and a group of friends have created an endowed scholarship fund for U of M students. Their generosity has helped hundreds of students access a higher education since the 90s. 

In January 2019, the Yapp family announced the Jeff Yapp Scholarship Program for post-secondary students. This program targets students across the U.S and Canada attending university or college for the following programs: Advertising, Marketing, Communications, Public Relations, and Business. For more information, visit the official scholarship website.

Jeff-Yapp

Resume

1981-1986

Regional Sales & Product Group Manager |Kraft Food Group

Jeff’s career began with Kraft Food Group where he quickly advanced through the ranks. Starting in 1981 as a Regional Sales Manager, by 1986 Jeff was the Product Group Manager for the Beverage Division. In this role Jeff was responsible for directing the $370M net revenue for Crystal Light, Countrytime, and Tang and Tang Fruit Box. Additionally, Jeff recovered Countrytime from a 10 year loss, increased sales by 31% and positioned it as the fastest-growing brand in the division. Overall, Jeff exceeded volume and earnings plans, growing total group revenues by 11%.

1986-1991

VP, International Division | E. & J. Gallo Winery

► Expanded division from small export operation to 45% of all wine exports from the US.
► Established wholly-owned subsidiaries in the UK, Canada, Mexico, Germany and Japan.
► Positioned Ernest and Julio Gallo as #1 brand of imported wine in both the UK and Canada in less than 3 years.
► Solidified the brand as the largest and fastest growing export wine for 4 consecutive years.
► Garnered Cannes Film Festival Honorable Mentions and Gold Mobius for creative excellence.

1991-1993

VP Marketing, Pizza Hut | PepsiCo

► Captured entertainment deals valued at over $50M with Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment.
► Slashed promotional expenses $13 million by implementing a direct marketing program to significantly drive customer acquisition. Built database of 40 million+ names.
► Reversed a 3-year decline through the launch of “Stuffed Crust Pizza”.
► Overhauled event-driven strategic platform, to focus on business basics of quality, consistency, speed of service and cleanliness.

1991-1997

President, Worldwide Home Entertainment | Fox

► Delivered $750 million+ in retail revenue from the launch of live action sell-through campaigns for “Independence Day” and the re-release of “Star Wars.” Selected “Vendor of the Year” by Wal-Mart, Target and Kmart.
► Directed launch of 1 of the most successful classic catalog promotions, the Shirley Temple series, with 10 million+ units sold in 3 years and $200M in retail sales.
► Orchestrated total rebuild of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment International from the bottom up, turning around a division that had been declining 20% per year. Doubled revenue to $551 million and profits to $226 million in less than 3 years.

1994-1998

President & COO Strategy & Media | Hollywood Entertainment

► Expanded stores from 750 to 1,500+ stores, opening more than 1 new store each day, and doubled sales revenues from $570 million to $1.3 billion+.
► Achieved 19% EBITDA margins, and ranked as the only video retailer generating positive comparable store growth for 13 consecutive quarters, making Hollywood Entertainment Corporation one of the most profitable retailers in the US.
► Structured innovative revenue-sharing alliances with Warner Bros., Universal, Sony Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, MGM and Dreamworks, to revolutionize the video business, tripling same store sales growth to 12%.
► Fully overhauled Reel.com into a profitable operation after a $60 million loss in less than 6 months, after it ceased operations as an independent subsidiary.

1999-2004

President, Retail Group | Cablevision

► Restructured the WIZ’s 41 locations in NY, NJ, and CT, reducing operating losses from $112 million in 2001 to a breakeven run rate in Q4 2002.
► Grew total revenue 15.8% for Clearview Cinemas, and improved theatre level cashflow by 58.7%. Raised EBITDA by 191% and EBITDA margins from 3.7% to 9.3%, positioning chain for lucrative sale.
► Redirected customer acquisition programs for Voom High Definition Satellite Service, slashing cost of acquisition from over $10K to $78.

2004-2009

EVP, MTV Networks | Viacom

► Articulated and executed strategy to drive revenue from $15 million in 2004 to $1.1 billion in 2009.
► Introduced Guitar Hero 1 and 2 and Rock Band 1,2 and the Beatles edition, establishing music rhythm games as 1 of the fastest-growing segments in the history of gaming.
► Launched Vice Media LLC with Shane Smith and the Vice team, to become the premier global youth network.
► Instituted movie labels for MTV, VH1 and CMT. Approved and oversaw production of the film Crazy Heart that won two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes.
Launched the Laguna Beach and Hills franchises as the largest selling DVD franchises ever for MTV, generating 2.5 million+ units and $75 million+ at retail. Managed exclusive relationship with Wal-Mart, generating $100 million+.

2009-2011

Founder & Chairman | NXTM

►Built client portfolio compromised of ABC Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comcast, Time Warner, Live Nation, AEG Live, Westwood One, Clear Channel, Samsung, Virgin Mobile, and Guitar Center.
► Expanded Taylor Swift’s web presence to be the most successful digital artist today, with 400% e-commerce growth in 2 years, and 80 million+ Facebook fans.
► Directed the launch of Whooznxt.com, the 1st audience-validated music service. 30,000+ bands registered.

2009- Present

Founder & CEO | WutzNxt

In 2009, Jeff Yapp founded Wutznxt, a marketing and consulting firm specializing in retail marketing. With Jeff’s 30+ years of experience, he has built a diverse team of professionals who can tackle any brand project. From brand strategy to content curation and captive campaigns, the Wutznxt team has used their talent to attract the leading names in business. This includes Microsoft, Kinect, Xbox, Vice, and various start-up companies.

2011- Present

CEO Strategic Partner | Microsoft

Client Reviews

Alex RigopolusFounder and CEO of Harmonix
At MTV, Jeff was one of the few people who understood the potential of Guitar Hero and Rock Band from the very beginning. More important though he had the conviction to back that vision with action
Shane SmithFounder and CEO of Vice Media
Jeff Yapp is a true visionary, and I mean that literally. That word gets bandied about a lot these days but I have firsthand proof it’s called Vice
Leslie BelzbergProducer of Crazy Heart
Jeff saw the potential in Crazy Heart, where many did not. Even with a first time director and many of the unknowns surrounding the early production of this movie, he was willing to step up and make the decision to take a risk and make what he knew could actually be a hit
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