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Thursday, August 11, 2022

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Stories of Leadership: John Cecil

John Cecil received a bachelor's degree in speech from SDSU in 1991.

A media, marketing and video expert, John Cecil, '91, has more than 17 years of media experience that includes strategy, business development, advertising, branding, public relations and affiliate marketing across every medium in the industry.

John Cecil

After being part of the Yahoo! organization during its beginning phase, Cecil co-founded Innovative Media and currently serves as its CEO. His company has also launched — a standalone online video platform that continues to establish itself as a technology leader in the online video delivery space.

A native of California, Cecil received his bachelor's degree in speech at San Diego State University. He resides in Newport Beach with his wife, Britt and their three children: Jayden, Ella and Jack.

Tell us the highlights of your professional career. What are your proudest achievements?

I am proud that I was able to join a company such as Yahoo! during its infancy stage and had the honor to open and manage their Los Angeles office. Starting my own business in 2003 and keeping it relevant to the growth of the internet has been the highlight of my professional career.

What’s your favorite college memory?

SDSU put me on a path to success. I started school at 17 and academics and college life helped prepare me to meet the challenges I would face in launching my career and business. I also remember many great times associated with my fraternity, Lamda Chi.

Who was your favorite professor and/or what was your favorite class?

Professor Peter Andersen, who ran the Communications department at the time I was in college, was an outstanding teacher and mentor. The speech analysis classes I took helped with my career field.

If you were to give current SDSU students some advice, what would you say?

Enjoy your time at SDSU and don’t rush to get out. Take every academic and social opportunity that college life allows. You will build lifelong relationships that will also help with career contacts.

What are you currently reading? What’s your favorite book?

One of my favorite books is "The Tipping Point" by Malcolm Gladwell and how messages and behaviors can spread quickly around ideas. I have authored a book, which came out in December called "Online Video Revolution: How to Reinvent and Market Your Business Using Video."

What is your passion?

I have a passion for surfing. While at SDSU, a group of us would go surfing before class in Mexico at Baja Malibu. Now I surf near my home three to five times a week in Newport Beach. I have surfed around the world including Bali and Costa Rica.

If you won the lottery, what would you do with your winnings?

I would become a professional surfer and visit Jeffries Bay in South Africa. This would enable my family and I to travel extensively and I would also contribute to causes important to me, including the university.

Which trait do you value most in your friends and colleagues?

Loyalty is important. I have a close group of friends from my college experience and our loyalty to each other has been a key part of our relationship.

If you knew you could not fail, what would you attempt?

I would start and sell a business.