Christos M. Cotsakos, Ph.D. is founding chairman, CEO and president of EndPlay, Inc., a leading provider of SaaS Content Management, Engagement and Monetization solutions for local broadcasters, media, entertainment and consumer packaged goods companies delivered in the cloud (2010-present). He also serves as founder, chairman and CEO of Pennington Ventures, LLC, a private digital media and strategic management company (1999-present). He is also co-founder and chairman of Mutasian Media, LLC and Mutasian Entertainment, LLC, creative educational entertainment companies for children ages 13 and under (2009-present).
Dr. Cotsakos is considered to be one of the visionaries, architects, and entrepreneurs of e-commerce and e-finance and he pioneered the early stages of development for personalized digital financial media.
Dr. Cotsakos is among a team of inventors for Mainstream Holdings and is listed in multiple patent applications covering methods and data structure for obtaining, distributing, managing and utilizing information, including online content and user biographical content in an online networking system. (US Patent No. 8,107,452 was assigned to Sprint Communications L.P. in September 2008; US Patent No. 7,010,599 was assigned to Vizio, Inc in July 2012.)
Dr. Cotsakos was invited to become a Senior Fellow in Entrepreneurship at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management (2010-2013).
Dr. Cotsakos serves as a Senior Advisor to New Mountain Capital, a leading private equity firm in New York. New Mountain, together with its affiliates, manages private equity, public equity and credit capital with aggregate assets under management totaling $9.0 billion (2013-present).
Dr. Cotsakos serves on the board of directors of Inmar, Inc., a technology company that operates intelligent commerce networks, and chairs the company’s Technology & Innovation Committee (2012-present). Dr. Cotsakos also serves on the board of directors of the Enterprise Development Corp. of South Florida (EDC), a nonprofit organization that assists emerging science and technology companies (2008-present).
Dr. Cotsakos co-founded and served as co-managing general partner of ArrowPath Ventures Inc. (1999-2003), where he and his co-managing general partner raised over $325 million in venture capital. ArrowPath is an early-stage venture capital firm that focuses on early and expansion stage companies developing highly differentiated enterprise and infrastructure technologies.
Dr. Cotsakos served as chairman of the board and chief executive officer (1998-2003) and president and chief executive officer (1996-1998) of E*TRADE Group, Inc. Under Dr. Cotsakos’ leadership, Fortune magazine named E*TRADE as one of the 10 most admired companies in financial services in 2002 and the company received numerous industry awards and recognitions for innovation, marketing, and technology. It was also included in both the S&P 500 and the Forbes Super 500 in 2003.
Dr. Cotsakos raised $13 million in private equity to help finance E*TRADE's start-up operations, led the company’s initial public offering and listed E*TRADE on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ) under the symbol EGRP in August 1996, raising an additional $53 million. In February 2001, after the company earned $1 billion in revenue, he listed E*TRADE on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the symbol ET.
Dr. Cotsakos raised an additional $1.5 billion to finance E*TRADE’s growth, infrastructure, technology innovations, and leading brand-building strategy. He initiated the company’s global diversification program by acquiring 18 companies for over $3 billion and broadening the company's products and services portfolio to include online banking, an ATM network, corporate stock plan administration, international and institutional multi-currency securities execution and settlement services, community and calendaring, advisory services, market making, and personalized digital financial media.
Dr. Cotsakos launched international E*TRADE destinations in Canada, Europe, and Asia. Dr. Cotsakos founded, developed, and managed E*TRADE's extensive global investment and venture portfolio, which included early-stage financing for Archipelago, an all-electronic financial marketplace that merged with the NYSE under the name NYSE ARCA and completed their initial public offering in 2006 and International Securities Exchange (ISE), an electronic exchange for equity options listed on the NYSE and completed their initial public offering in 2005.
During Dr. Cotsakos' last year as Chairman and CEO, E*TRADE Group, Inc. reported the most profitable year in the company's history, earning $0.45 per share from ongoing operations in 2002, delivering its 3rd consecutive cash flow positive quarter and growing GAAP quarterly net income 41 percent over the same quarter the previous year. Dr. Cotsakos resigned from E*TRADE on January 23, 2003 and left to pursue other opportunities through his portfolio management company, Pennington Ventures, LLC, as well as with a number of start-up companies.
Dr. Cotsakos previously served as global co-chief executive officer, president, and chief operating officer of ACNielsen, the global leader in market research, information, and analysis. Dr. Cotsakos expanded the company’s reach in Asia, Europe, and Latin America and reinvigorated its brand and market position and re-architected its technology. Dr. Cotsakos was the recipient of Dun & Bradstreet’s Chairman’s Award for Global Leadership in 1993 and the President’s Award in 1995 for his innovative leadership in developing and expanding the company’s profitable international strategy.
Dr. Cotsakos served 19 years (1973-1992) with the Federal Express Corporation, a market leader in transportation, information, and logistics solutions, where he held a number of senior executive positions in the U.S. and in Europe. Dr. Cotsakos was instrumental in developing several of the People-Service-Profit initiatives that Federal Express is known and respected for today. Dr. Cotsakos received the Chief Operating Officer’s Five Star Award for Leadership and Innovation in 1984 and was instrumental in Federal Express receiving the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 1990.
Dr. Cotsakos served as co-chair of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund with Senator Charles Hagel (R-Nebraska) and James V. Kimsey (Founder and Chairman Emeritus of AOL) (1998-2009). Established in 1979, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund built the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. (also known as the Wall). Today, through a series of outreach programs, the organization works to preserve the legacy of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, promote healing, and educate about the impact of the Vietnam War (1998-2009).
Dr. Cotsakos has served as the founding chairman with honorary chairman, Former Secretary of State General Colin Powell (retired), of the Education Center At the Wall. America’s Legacy of Service is a visitor and education facility being built underground near the Vietnam Veterans and Lincoln Memorials. It will help the millions of annual visitors to The Wall learn about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as the Vietnam War, and will pay tribute to all the men and women who served in all of America’s wars. In 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law H.R. 1442, which authorized the construction of this visitor center (2005-2009).
Dr. Cotsakos has served as founder, chairman of the board, chief executive officer, and president of Mainstream Holdings, a holding company providing customizable internet technology and digital media solutions (2003-2008). Mainstream Holdings was acquired by Babbalu, LLC in November 2008.
Dr. Cotsakos served on the board of directors for the FOX Entertainment Group (1999-2005), a leader in the development, production, and worldwide distribution of feature films and television programs, television broadcasting, and cable network programming. Dr. Cotsakos chaired both the audit committee and the special committee of independent directors when News Corporation acquired the minority interest in the FOX Entertainment Group in 2005. He also served as the senior interactive media and internet technology advisor for News Corporation (2006-2010).
Dr. Cotsakos has served as a board member and chairman of the audit compensations, executive, nominating and governance, and technology and innovation committees for public, private, and non-profit companies including the NYSE’s Listed Advisory Committee, an advisory council of key NYSE listed company chief executives who provided issues-based counsel for the Chairman and CEO as well as the senior management team of the NYSE; Corporate Council for the John F. Kennedy Center, America’s national center for cultural and performing arts; the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund’s Corporate Council, a network of business executives who assist in directing both the fundraising and distribution of funds through targeted educational programs associated with Vietnam Veterans; Pepperdine University’s board of visitors, a network of prominent business leaders and alumni who counsel Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management.
Dr. Cotsakos has also served on the board of directors for E*TRADE Group, Inc. USA and E*TRADE Financial Japan, a diversified financial services company; E-Offering, a diversified on-line financial institution acquired by WIT Capital; ACNielsen, a leader in global media and research company acquired by VNU; Forte Software, a leader in the integration and development of scalable enterprise-class distributed applications acquired by Sun Microsystems; Digital Island, a leading global e-business delivery network acquired by Cable and Wireless; National Processing Company, a provider of business transaction processing from point-of-sale credit card processing to e-commerce solutions; TradeStation Group, Inc., a leader in rule-based trading; Tickets.com, a leading business-to-business ticketing service for live events; PlanetRX, an online healthcare destination and pharmacy for commerce, content, and community; Critical Path, a consumer messaging software and services company for mobile operators; DataCard, a leader in secure ID and personalized smart card services; Fourth Communication Network, an internet service provider that delivered high speed access for consumers in the lodging industry; ePlay Inc., a learning, educational, and software company that provided tutorial products to children, teachers, and parents; Official Payments Corp., the leading provider in electronic government payments including personal income taxes, business taxes, property and real estate taxes, and utility and education payments acquired by Tier Technologies Inc.; MySpace Japan, a social network; OPEN Sports, fantasy sports gaming; and Webvan, an online grocery delivery business. Dr. Cotsakos was also elected chairman of the board to assist Webvan's executive team and board with its strategic exit alternatives in 2001.
Through his extensive experiences in start-ups, venture capital, Fortune 1000 companies, board memberships and advisory services, Dr. Cotsakos has helped companies raise several billion dollars in equity and debt financing. He also provided counsel on globalization, organization and development, technology, sales and marketing, financing, product development and innovation, transaction processing, e-commerce, digital media, corporate governance, and exit strategies at critical junctures in those companies' growth cycles.
Dr. Cotsakos served as co-chair of the Capital Campaign at William Paterson University. The Campaign ended in 2006 having successfully raised over $40 million for the University.
Dr. Cotsakos served as chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors for the National Democratic Party’s candidate for the President of Liberia (2005-2006). Dr. Cotsakos also served as a Senior Economic and Campaign Advisor for the National Democratic Party's candidate for the President of Liberia (2005, 2006 and 2011).
In 2000, Dr. Cotsakos served as a technical advisor at President Clinton’s first Cyber Security Summit at the White House and has also served as an advisor to the Military in the Information Age, a project on national defense and security systems technology sponsored by the Pentagon.
Dr. Cotsakos is personally engaged in various civic and community activities with the Cotsakos family. The Cotsakos family focuses on education, community outreach, and wildlife and environmental preservation.
The Cotsakos family has provided seed and operating capital for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and its outreach programs including Project RENEW, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's unexploded ordinance removal and awareness program in Quang Tri Province, Vietnam; the establishment of the computer learning center at Hanoi University of Foreign Studies; and Echoes from The Wall, a Vietnam War educational curriculum distributed to 40,000 schools throughout the United States.
Dr. Cotsakos enlisted in the military in 1967. He is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with V for Valor, the Army Commendation Medal with V for Valor, the Purple Heart for wounds received in combat, the Air Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Parachutist Badge, as well as other ribbons and citations. Dr. Cotsakos (then Sergeant Costsakos) served in Vietnam as a fire team leader and squad leader with Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division (known as the Screaming Eagles). Dr. Cotsakos was honorably discharged from active military service in January 1970.
Dr. Cotsakos was able to attend college at William Paterson University through a combination of the GI bill and an alumni scholarship. He received a B.A. in Communications (cum laude) with a minor in Theatre and a concentration in Political Science (1973). He earned an M.B.A. (summa cum laude) from Pepperdine University (Malibu, California, 1983). Dr. Cotsakos earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of London, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (London, United Kingdom, 2002).
In May 2001, William Paterson University, one of the nine state colleges and universities in New Jersey, named its business school the Cotsakos College of Business in honor of Dr. Cotsakos. Dr. Cotsakos earned a lifetime teaching credential in Industrial Management for the California community school system (1984).
Dr. Cotsakos has been an international speaker on a variety of topics including the global economy, e-commerce, leadership, chaos and uncertainty in the digital environment, landmine awareness, education and removal and veterans’ affairs. He has spoken at venues such as the Davos World Economic Forum, MSNBC’s Summit I and II hosted by Tom Brokaw, and on cable and network television including Bloomberg, CNBC, CNN, CNNfn, FOX, MSNBC and NBC. He has also provided commentary on nationally syndicated radio and lectures at leading colleges and universities.
Dr. Cotsakos was invited to become a Visiting Professor of Economics at the University of London, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine (2004-2006).
Dr. Cotsakos is the national best-selling author of It’s Your Money, published in June 2000. It’s Your Money has over 275,000 copies in several languages in print worldwide. Dr. Cotsakos donated all proceeds from the book to Vietnam veterans projects. He is currently authoring several additional books on entrepreneurship, marketing, and strategy.
Dr. Cotsakos is the fourth of five children of Greek immigrant parents. Dr. Cotsakos and his wife both grew up in Paterson, New Jersey. They attended Paterson’s public schools (Dr. Cotsakos: PS 15 and Mrs. Cotsakos: PS 21 and PS 26) and are graduates of Eastside High School (1965 and 1967, respectively). Dr. Cotsakos lived in Japan for two years and he and his family resided in Brussels, Belgium for eight years. Dr. Cotsakos has been married to Tami Cotsakos for over 40 years.
Mrs. Cotsakos holds a B.S. in Music and a teaching credential (K-12) from William Paterson University (1971); and was recognized in 2007 as a Distinguished Alumnus. Mrs. Cotsakos currently manages the Cotsakos Family Trust. She has served as co-founder and president of Pennington Ventures since 1999, where she co-manages the company's investment portfolio and is co-managing partner of its Children’s Education Practice. Mrs. Cotsakos has served as co-founder, CEO and chief creative officer of Mutasian Media, LLC and co-founder, vice chairman and chief creative officer of Mutasian Entertainment, LLC since 2009. Mrs. Cotsakos is also among a team of inventors for Mainstream Holdings and is listed in multiple patent applications covering a system and method for managing online networking information . Mrs. Cotsakos is also engaged in several civic and charitable endeavors. Mrs. Cotsakos served as vice chairman of Mainstream Holdings, a member of its board of directors, and chair of its Social Responsibility Committee (2003-2008). Mrs. Cotsakos has also served as vice chairman of MOLI, CoVibe Technologies, and Tertiary Productions (2006-2008). Mrs. Cotsakos served as a member of the Money and Living board of directors (2005-2008) and a member of the Mainstream Integrated Holdings board of directors (2007-2008). She has also served as co-founder, president and chief operating officer of MOLI Kids (2007-2008) Mrs. Cotsakos is chair of the Tami Cotsakos Music Scholarship at William Paterson University and co-chaired the William Paterson University Capital Campaign. Prior to this, Mrs. Cotsakos built a career in design, retail, childcare management, education (as an elementary school music teacher in the New Jersey and the California public school systems) and philanthropy. Mrs. Cotsakos has also founded and managed as a small business owner several entrepreneurial ventures.
Suzanne R. Cotsakos holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Pepperdine University (Malibu, California, 2002), a B.F.A. in Motion Pictures and Television from the Academy of Art University (San Francisco, California, 2004), and an M.B.A. from William Paterson University, Wayne, New Jersey, in 2009. Ms. Cotsakos is a cast member and business manager of the award-winning, all-female Improve Group, Duchess Riot, in Los Angeles, California. Ms. Cotsakos has been an active member of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) since 1999 and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) since 2010. She has served as co-founder and director of investments for Pennington Ventures since 1999 and is also co-managing partner of its New Media Practice. Ms. Cotsakos has been co-founder of Tertiary Productions since October 2004 and co-president of Tertiary Productions since April 2006. Ms. Cotsakos has served as co-founder, vice president and co-head writer of Mutasian Entertainment, LLC and Mutasian Media, LLC since 2009. Ms. Cotsakos is also among a team of inventors for Mainstream Holdings and is listed in multiple patent applications covering a system and method for managing online networking information. Ms. Cotsakos served as vice president of community outreach programs for Mainstream Holdings (2006-2008). Ms. Cotsakos also served as a member of the board of directors of Mainstream Holdings and a member of the board’s Social Responsibility Committee (2003-2008). She is also co-founder of MOLI Kids, founded in July 2007. Ms. Cotsakos has served as a member of the Money and Living board of directors (2005-2008) and member of the Mainstream Integrated Holdings board of directors (2007-2008). Ms. Cotsakos is also involved in multiple charitable programs and civic projects.
Dr. Cotsakos enjoys spending time with his family and friends, mentoring entrepreneurs, reading, writing, teaching, participating in Chanoyu (the Japanese tea ceremony of the Urasenke School of Tea), creating new business opportunities, building digital media engagement and monetization platforms, developing innovative technology solutions, analyzing big data and Quantum Content, and working on educational, civic, and community projects.
100 People Who Have Changed the Way Americans Think About Money (Worth September 2001)
25 Most Influential Personalities in Financial Services (Future Banker May 2001 and May 1999)
The Online Finance 40 (Institutional Investor April 2001)
Executive of the Year (Hellenic American Bankers Association March 2001)
The CIO 100 (CIO August 2000)
The E-Establishment: The Top 50 Technology Leaders (Vanity Fair April 2000)
The Financial Online Elite (Institutional Investor April 2000 and September 1997)
Powerful Wall Street Pioneers (Wall Street Journal December 1999)
The 50 Most Important People Shaping Technology Today (Time Digital October 1999)
The e.biz 25 Most Influential People in Electronic Business (Business Week September 1999)
Power 50 – The Most Influential People in Financial Services (American Banker May 1999)
The 25 Most Powerful People in Networking (Networld January 1999)
Entrepreneur of the Year USA (Entrepreneur of the Year Institute November 1998)
Entrepreneur of the Year California (Entrepreneur of the Year Institute June 1998)
The Top 50 Cyber Elite (Time Digital October 1998)
The New Entrepreneurial Elite (Inc. December 1997)
Top 10 Visionary CEOs (Communications Week February 1997)
Thirty Who Matter in Technology (Forbes ASAP October 1996)
1st Honoree for Lifetime Achievement (US Army Medical Command Japan Association, 2008)
Unexploded Ordinance Humanitarian Award (Quang Tri Province, Vietnam April 2005)
Hellenic Heritage Achievement Award (American Hellenic Institute, Inc. March 2002)
Hellene of the Year Award (Hellenic Medical Society December 2001
Man of the Year Award (Hellenic-American Chamber of Commerce October 2001)
Sons of Pericles Supreme President Award (Order of the Sons of Pericles July 2001)
Ellis Island Medal of Honor (National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations Foundation May 2001)
Greek Orthodox Youth Scholarship Patron Award (New Jersey Greek Orthodox Foundation November 2000)
Forever Worthy in Community Service Award (Saint Athanasios Greek Orthodox Church November 2000)
Psion Award (Dissertation of the Year; Management School, University of London, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine; London, United Kingdom April 2003)
Legacy Award (William Paterson University; Wayne, New Jersey November 1999)
Distinguished Alumnus Award (Pepperdine University; Malibu, California August 1999)
Eastside High School Hall of Fame (Eastside High School; Paterson, New Jersey May 2012)
Doctor of Humane Letters (American College of Thessalonica; Thessalonica, Greece July 2003)
Doctor of Humanities (Hellenic College; Brookline, Massachusetts May 2002)
Doctor of Laws (Pepperdine University; Malibu, California April 2002)
Doctor of Business Administration (Drexel University; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 2002)
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