Ben Sherwood

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  • Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks & President of Disney|ABC Television (2014-19)
  • President of ABC News (2010-14)
  • Executive Producer, ABC's Good Morning America (2004-06)
  • New York Times Bestselling Author

A master storyteller and one of the top media executives in the world, Ben Sherwood served as Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney|ABC Television Group from 2014 to 2019.  An award-winning journalist and best-selling novelist, Sherwood also served as president of ABC News from 2010 to 2014.

Consistently ranked in The Hollywood Reporter's annual list of the "Most Powerful People in Entertainment," Sherwood offers game-changing insights on bold leadership in times of disruption, the art of the turnaround, the secrets of unleashing creativity and innovation, and the inside story of the tumultuous worlds of entertainment and news.

At Disney|ABC, Sherwood managed a twelve billion dollar business with 12,000 employees responsible for the creation of more than 25,000 hours of original content every year. Leading the organization through a period of rapid disruption, with new streaming services and technology upending business models and consumer behavior, Sherwood and his team consistently delivered outstanding results measured in profitability, cultural relevance and creative excellence.

 

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Rave Reviews About Ben Sherwood
Everyone loved him. They were captivated. His stories were fantastic. And the feedback I received was tremendous.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Ben Sherwood
  • MySpace
  • The Masters Forum
  • NYU Stern School of Business
  • Symantec
Keynote - Creating connection and understanding through Great Storytelling | Mipcom [13:35] - Get Sharable Link
Explore Ben Sherwood's Talks
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Daring Greatly: Leading and Succeeding in the Age of Disruption

Drawing on first-hand experience leading Disney|ABC Television Group through a period of tremendous disruption-- as new competitors like Netflix and Amazon upended the industry -- Ben Sherwood provides actionable and fascinating insights into what it takes to lead boldly and dare greatly. With radic ...

Drawing on first-hand experience leading Disney|ABC Television Group through a period of tremendous disruption-- as new competitors like Netflix and Amazon upended the industry -- Ben Sherwood provides actionable and fascinating insights into what it takes to lead boldly and dare greatly. With radical candor and humor, Sherwood explores the essential characteristics of the world’s most successful and effective leaders.  His deeply engaging presentation mixes riveting video from entertainment and news, with stories from the trenches of television, and memorable insights from history, politics, science and nature. In the end, Sherwood leaves his audiences with completely original and highly useful lessons on leadership, management, and winning in the age of disruption.

Making Magic: Unleashing the Creativity and Innovation in All of Us

Drawing on his years of experience at The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic, innovative and globally respected companies in the world, Sherwood illuminates how to unleash out-of-the-box thinking and practical innovation in every person.  As a bestselling novelist and award-winning journali ...

Drawing on his years of experience at The Walt Disney Company, one of the most iconic, innovative and globally respected companies in the world, Sherwood illuminates how to unleash out-of-the-box thinking and practical innovation in every person.  As a bestselling novelist and award-winning journalist with decades of experience as a storyteller, Sherwood also shares personal and insightful tales from his own experience in the creative process. Highlighting the paramount importance of adaptability and resilience -- and how to foster those qualities in any environment -- Sherwood shares informative, entertaining and engaging lessons that leave audiences empowered to make their own magic, unleash their own creativity and take action with original thinking and strategies.

No Business Like Show Business: What the Battle for the Future of Hollywood Means for Your Living Room, Your Business and the World

A seasoned media executive and prize-winning journalist, Sherwood delivers an eye-opening first-hand report on the epic battle underway for the future of entertainment. Over a decade at Disney and ABC, Sherwood witnessed the moves and machinations of the biggest disruptors in entertainment including ...

A seasoned media executive and prize-winning journalist, Sherwood delivers an eye-opening first-hand report on the epic battle underway for the future of entertainment. Over a decade at Disney and ABC, Sherwood witnessed the moves and machinations of the biggest disruptors in entertainment including Apple, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu.  His vivid, surprising, often hilarious stories capture the endless struggle for ratings, star talent, advertisers and subscriptions. Sherwood offers unique insights into the future of show business: who will win, who will lose, and what it means for consumers, advertisers and businesses around the world.

Reporting from the Front Lines: Inside the News Wars and What the Battle for Truth Means to Every Citizen and Community

After more than 30 years in journalism, working his way from a small town American newspaper to the pinnacle of network news in New York City, Sherwood offers original and penetrating insights into the powerful personalities and forces shaping the news consumed by billions of people around the world ...

After more than 30 years in journalism, working his way from a small town American newspaper to the pinnacle of network news in New York City, Sherwood offers original and penetrating insights into the powerful personalities and forces shaping the news consumed by billions of people around the world. Without fear, favor or partisanship, Sherwood examines multiple threats to the future of journalism, including business models under siege and a systematic assault on journalism - and truth itself - taking place around the globe. Sherwood offers valuable advice for every citizen and business on how to help strengthen democracy and the practice of journalism in an age of polarization and tribalism.

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<p>New Speaker Spotlight: Ben Sherwood </p>

New Speaker Spotlight: Ben Sherwood 

A master storyteller and one of the top media executives in the world, BEN SHERWOOD served as Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney|ABC Television Group from 2014 to 2019.  An award-winning journalist and best-selling novelist, Sherwood also served as president of ABC News from 2010 to 2014. Consistently ranked in The Hollywood Reporter's annual list of the "Most Powerful People in Entertainment," Sherwood offers game-changing insights on bold leadership in times of disruption, the art of the turnaround, the secrets of unleashing creativity and innovation, and the inside story of the tumultuous worlds of entertainment and newsAt Disney/ABC, Sherwood managed a twelve billion dollar business with 12,000 employees responsible for the creation of more than 25,000 hours of original content every year. Leading the organization through a period of rapid disruption, with new streaming services and technology upending business models and consumer behavior, Sherwood and his team consistently delivered outstanding results measured in profitability, cultural relevance and creative excellence. During Sherwood's tenure as president of ABC News, “Good Morning America” became the #1 morning TV news program in the US, and ABC News won virtually every prestigious honor in the industry, including George Polk, George Foster Peabody, News and Documentary Emmy®, and Edward R. Murrow awards. As New York Magazine wrote of him: "Many at ABC News praise (Ben) Sherwood as perhaps the most engaged, inspiring, empathetic leader that the television industry has ever produced." Sharing radically candid insights on leadership, disruption, innovation and more, Sherwood receives rave reviews at every engagement, such as: "Everyone loved him. They were captivated. His stories were fantastic. And the feedback I received was tremendous" (Symantec), and "Ben's message is deep, highly relevant, and of great intrinsic value. He hit the ball deep into the seats" (The Master's Forum). 

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Biography

Ben Sherwood served as Co-Chairman of Disney Media Networks and President of Disney|ABC Television Group from 2014 to 2019.  An award-winning journalist and best-selling novelist, Sherwood also served as president of ABC News from 2010 to 2014.

While at The Walt Disney Company, Sherwood oversaw a diverse portfolio of global entertainment and news properties, including the ABC Television Network, ABC News, the ABC Owned Television Stations, the Disney Channels Worldwide, Freeform, and Disney’s ownership interest in Hulu and AETN, including History, Lifetime and A+E.

At Disney/ABC, Sherwood managed a twelve billion dollar business with 12,000 employees responsible for the creation of more than 25,000 hours of original content every year. Leading the organization through a period of rapid disruption, with new streaming services and technology upending business models and consumer behavior, Sherwood and his team consistently delivered outstanding results measured in profitability, cultural relevance and creative excellence.

During his tenure as president of ABC News, “Good Morning America” became the #1 morning TV news program in the US, toppling NBC’s Today show after its historic 852 weeks of consecutive victories.  Under his leadership, ABC’s “ World News Tonight” also moved into first place as the country’s most watched evening news program. And ABC News won virtually every prestigious honor in the industry, including George Polk, George Foster Peabody, News and Documentary Emmy®, and Edward R. Murrow awards.

In addition to his career in media, Sherwood is an acclaimed author of fiction and non-fiction.  In 2010, he wrote "The Survivors Club,” a New York Times bestseller about the secrets and science of overcoming extraordinary adversity. Sherwood has also written three successful novels including "The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud," (2004) which was made into a major motion picture starring Zac Efron.  His novel "The Man Who Ate the 747" (2000) was also optioned as a motion picture by Warner Bros. Studios. His novel “Red Mercury,” written under the pseudonym Max Barclay (1996), was optioned as a television series by Avnet Kerner.

Over the last 30 years, Sherwood's articles and non-fiction essays have appeared in many publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and Newsweek.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard College in 1986, Sherwood earned an AB degree in American government and history. From 1986 to 1989, as a Rhodes Scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford, he earned master’s degrees in British imperial and commonwealth history and development economics.

Sherwood is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and serves on the board of the National Constitution Center.

Sherwood is currently launching a start-up based in Los Angeles, where he lives with his wife and two sons.