Investor on ABC’s ‘Shark Tank,’ Chairman of O’Leary Financial Group & Best-Selling Author
The son of a United Nations ILO official, Kevin O’Leary had the opportunity to be educated in Cambodia, Cyprus, Tunisia, Ethiopia, France and Switzerland. Kevin attended the University of Waterloo in 1977, receiving an honors bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and psychology. In 1980, he received his MBA from Ivey Business School.
After briefly working at Nabisco Brands, he pursued a career in television production and became a founding partner in Special Event Television, which produced programming such as “The Original Six,” “Don Cherry’s Grapevine” and “Bobby Orr and the Hockey Legends.”
In 1986, Kevin co-founded SoftKey Software, the first software company to apply the principles of consumer goods marketing to the software industry. 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, completing the first transborder three-way pooling, and merging with Spinnaker Software and WordStar International. In 1995, SoftKey acquired Compton’s New Media and The Learning Company. In 1996, SoftKey completed the acquisition of Minnesota Educational Computer Company. In 1997-1998, SoftKey acquired Creative Wonders, Mindscape and Broderbund, making it the world leader in the development of educational, reference and home productivity software. This also made it the world’s second-largest consumer software company, with annual sales of over $800 million, 2,000 employees and subsidiaries in 15 countries. In 1996, SoftKey became The Learning Company. In May of 1999, The Mattel Toy Company acquired The Learning Company for $4.2 billion.
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 is the chairman of O’Shares ETF Investments and Beanstox, an automated internet-based investment advisory service. He holds investments in more than 30 private venture companies. He is a member of Boston’s 120-year-old Hamilton Trust, the oldest investment club in the U.S. He is a contributor to CNBC, ABC News and “Good Morning,” and he is an entrepreneur/investor co-host for the Discovery Channel’s “Project Earth” series. Kevin 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 is an active photographer, watch collector and guitarist. He’s also the author of three No. 1 best-selling books.