Ben Sherwood provides lessons on leadership and disruption
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. 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, and the secrets to unleashing innovation and creative-thinking amid challenging times.
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. 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 first-hand 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). Sherwood’s presentations are deeply engaging and inspiring. He mixes riveting video, with stories from the trenches of television, and memorable insights from history, politics, science and nature, to provide audiences with a highly-relevant, one-of-a-kind experience.
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.