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40 Under 40, Class of 2022: Advice for the Next Generation

For this year’s 40 Under 40 issue, I reached out to some of home entertainment’s top executives and asked them what they’d like to say to our Class of 2022 honorees.
 
“Career paths are rarely linear, and they almost never conform to pre-conceived plans. In my experience it is far more important to embrace situations where one is learning and feels valued than it is to follow a pre-ordained notion of what one’s path should be. This is especially true in the current environment, where change in our industry is so rapid,” said Jason Spivak, EVP of distribution for North America television and home entertainment at Sony Pictures Entertainment.
 
Cameron Douglas, VP of home entertainment at Fandango, urges honorees to “Let a love for entertainment drive you. We sometimes forget how lucky we are to have a place in this business. The skills may be transferable, but our customers’ passion and engagement with content is unique. Embrace it, in your work and in your own personal connection to the work. And always try to win the annual office Oscar pool!”
 
Mark Fisher, president and CEO of streaming trade association OTT.X, said, “This is a great time in our industry. You and our other up-and-coming leaders have the opportunity to develop an ecosystem that is more global, more egalitarian, and more diverse.”
 
Amy Jo Smith, president and CEO of digital entertainment trade group DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, said, “Congratulations to this year’s 40 Under 40. As you move throughout your career, the best training for new responsibilities will always be on-the-job training. Be a sponge. Never be afraid to ask questions but always be a good listener.”
 
“It’s an exciting time to be a part of our dynamic, uniquely evolving business,” said Michael Bonner, president of Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. “To the emerging Class of 2022, I encourage you to harness your passion for entertainment and let it drive you. Take pride in your contributions and learn to thrive amid change, embracing new and diverse voices, ideas and perspectives, and strive to create a genuine culture of partnership and collaboration within your organization. Most importantly, lead by example and give back through mentorship, setting the industry stage for the future crop of young professionals.”
 
Jim Wuthrich, president of content distribution at Warner Bros. Discovery, said, “Congrats to this year’s honorees!I would suggest embracing your differences, as that’s where you are likely to find your superpower.Don’t mistake that advice for not bringing your best self to work; rather, figure out how to bring your unique talents, viewpoint and passion to your organization. Your team will benefit, and you’ll feel more authentic.”
 
Bob Buchi, president of Paramount Home Entertainment, couldn’t resist a plug for some of his studio’s biggest movies: “While everyone has their unique approach to leadership and success, I have observed that in our constantly changing marketplace, it helps to have the agility of Sonic, the anticipatory actions of Maverick, and the positivity of SpongeBob.”
 
Lastly, a few thoughts from me: Back before any of you were born, I was a 21-year-old college student who had just launched a monthly rock ‘n’ roll magazine in my hometown of San Diego, called Kicks. The San Diego Reader honored me as one of the year’s 50 People to Watch. That honor remains on my resumé and in my younger days opened quite a few doors —or maybe it was the confidence that winning that honor instilled in me. My words of my advice: Always over-deliver, keep your word, be on time and be nice to people.
 
Congratulations!

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