Jon Steinberg ’03BUS to Speak at Class Day

The former president and COO of Buzzfeed will give the keynote address at this year's ceremony, to be held on May 16.

Mar 23 2016 | By Holly Evarts

The undergraduate and graduate student councils of The Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science at Columbia University are pleased to announce that media entrepreneur Jon Steinberg will give the keynote address for Columbia Engineering’s Class Day ceremony, to be held on May 16, 2016.

Jon Steinberg
—Photo by Laura Fuhr

“It's an honor to be invited back,” said Steinberg, former president and COO of Buzzfeed. “I can honestly say that through my entrepreneurial journey, almost every day I use a skill I learned at Columbia. It's amazing to come back to campus to talk about technology, media, entrepreneurship, and the educational journey.”

Steinberg, who received his MBA from Columbia Business School in 2003 and his BA from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs in 1999, is the founder and CEO of Cheddar, a new video media company positioned at the intersection of business news and culture. Prior to launching his new company, he held executive leadership roles at North America and BuzzFeed. He sits on the board of Bustle and is an advisor to TheSkimm and Taboola. He has received multiple recognitions from AdAge, being named to their list of “40 under 40” in 2015 and one of its Media Mavens in 2012.

“We are excited to have Jon Steinberg as our Class Day Speaker this year,” said Mary C. Boyce, Dean of Engineering and Morris A. and Alma Schapiro Professor at Columbia. “The intersection of engineering and business in shaping the media industry has been transformative in recent years. Jon has been an innovative and impactful leader in this field. I am pleased our graduates will have the opportunity to hear from Jon as he shares his journey, his career insights, and successes as an entrepreneur.”

Steinberg laid the foundation for his career in high school, interning at Walt Disney Imagineering’s research and development group. He went on to become strategic partner development manager on Google's SMB (small medium business) partnerships team. At BuzzFeed, he was responsible for business management, company operations, finance, and social advertising operations. Under his leadership, BuzzFeed became a global and profitable social advertising business working with more than half of the top 100 brands, and he grew the company from 15 employees to more than 500.

Prior to launching Cheddar, Steinberg served as CEO at North America. In this role, he grew U.S. revenue 45% and doubled direct advertising revenue. He played a leading role in building the company's digital media assets in the U.S., including Daily Mail's acquisition of Elite Daily and the launch of TrufflePig, a joint venture with Snapchat and WPP.

Steinberg sits on the board of Temple Israel. He lives with his wife, two small children, and cat on New York's Upper East Side.

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