Business type: Venture capital
Number of employees: 150
Job title: Managing director
First ‘Net experience: Searching for a long lost friend on Yahoo!
Biggest challenge: “Information overload”
Favorite bookmark: www.fidget.com
* * *
Shepherding Sony through the early days of the Internet and making a case for the studio to take its entertainment properties online earned Lynda Keeler respect as a doyenne of digital content.
After four years as veepee and general manager at Columbia Tristar Interactive, with successes like the Web site for “Dawson’s Creek,” Keeler last month ankled to get into the money game with venture capital firm Redleaf Group.
“New media was being accepted by the studio,” Keeler says. “It wasn’t an afterthought anymore. With every movie and TV show the online marketing and brand extension is part of the initial discussion.”
This summer Keeler will help open the Los Angeles offices of Redleaf, which focuses on technology investing in disciplines ranging from entertainment to biomedicine to wireless.
The transition, she says, will be surprisingly easy.
“What I learned in navigating Hollywood is a lesson that everyone should go through,” Keeler says. “Being in the venture world is like being an A&R person at the record labels. You listen to thousands of bands and maybe one or two get deals. It’s also like reading scripts all the time — only a fraction get produced.”
But she isn’t leaving Hollywood entirely — Keeler will continue to consult for Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment.