Kevin O’Leary was born on July 9th, 1954. As the son of a United Nations ILO official, he had the opportunity to live and be educated in Cambodia, Cyprus, Tunisia, Ethiopia, France and Switzerland. Kevin attended the University of Waterloo where in 1977 he received an Honors bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and Psychology. He attended the Ivey Business School where he received his MBA in 1980.After working briefly as an assistant product manager at Nabisco Brands, he left to pursue a career in television production and became a founding partner in Special Event
Television, an independent production company that produced original sports programming such as “The Original Six”, “Don Cherry’s Grapevine” and “Bobby Orr and the Hockey Legends”.
Kevin co-founded SoftKey Software in 1986. SoftKey was the first software company to apply the principles of consumer goods marketing to the software industry. SoftKey grew quickly as the price of personal computers declined and millions of North American families began to buy software for family education and entertainment.
In January of 1994, SoftKey became a catalyst of consolidation in the software industry, raising over $ 1 billion in a series of debt and equity financings and completing the first trans-border three-way pooling, merging with Spinnaker Software and WordStar International. As a result of this merger the company moved its headquarters to Boston, Massachusetts. In late 1995, SoftKey acquired Compton’s New Media and The Learning Company. In early 1996, SoftKey completed the acquisition of the Minnesota Educational Computer Company. In late 1997 and early 1998, the company acquired three more of its competitors, Creative Wonders, Mindscape and Broderbund making SoftKey the world leader in the development of educational, reference and home productivity software and the world’s second largest consumer software company with annual sales over $800 million, two thousand employees and subsidiaries in 15 countries.
In 1996 SoftKey changed its name to The Learning Company. In early May 1999, The Mattel Toy Company acquired The Learning Company for $4.2 billion. In 2003 he became co-investor and a director in Storage Now, a leading developer of climate-controlled storage facilities. Through a series of development projects and acquisitions, Storage Now became an owner/operator of storage services with facilities located in eleven cities serving such companies as Merck and Pfizer when it was acquired by the In-Storage REIT in March 2007 for $110 million.
In July of 2007 Kevin became a founding SPAC investor and Director of Stream Global Services Inc., focused on the growing outsourcing business services market.
Kevin O’Leary is the Chairman of O’Shares ETF Investments and Beanstox an automated internet-based investment advisory service. He also holds investments in over 30 private venture companies across a wide range of sectors. He is a member of Boston’s 120-year-old Hamilton Trust, the oldest investment club in the US. He is a contributor to CNBC, ABC News and Good Morning America and an entrepreneur/investor co-host for the Discovery Channels Project Earth series that explores innovative ways man could reverse global warming implementing large scale geoengineering infrastructure projects. He is also an investor/host of ABC Television’s four-time Emmy Award winning venture capital reality programs “Shark Tank” and “Beyond the Tank” produced by MGM/Sony/ABC.
Kevin O’Leary is an active photographer, watch collector, guitarist and author of three number #1 bestselling books “Cold Hard Truth”, “Men, Women and Money” and “Family Kids and Money”.