Los Angeles is known for its beautiful climate, sunny beaches, and glamorous entertainment industry. With nearly 4 million residents within the city limits, LA is also the second-most populous city in the country, behind only NYC. At the same time, LA is more than just the entertainment capital of the world. Benefiting from its strategic location, with the Port of Los Angeles serving as a major gateway for international trade, the city serves as a hub for culture and commerce alike.
At present, the Los Angeles region hosts more than twelve significant industries, encompassing technology, aerospace, manufacturing, tourism, healthcare, and trade. Remarkably, in 2021, the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Los Angeles metropolitan area exceeded $950 billion. This favorable business climate is mirrored in the caliber and number of prominent business figures residing in the city. It's worth noting that many of this year's distinguished award recipients are at the forefront of Los Angeles' most influential and widely recognized entities.
Some of the distinguished honorees on this year’s list include the CEO of Fender Musical Instruments, Andy Mooney, who brings more than 40 years of experience to his role, including two decades at Nike, where he led the company's $3 billion apparel division. Additionally, we would like to applaud Pasquale Rotella. After developing his first music festival when he was just a teenager, Rotella is now the Founder and CEO of global entertainment lifestyle brand, Insomniac, a company that is widely known for its globally renowned dance music festival Electric Daisy Carnival. Lastly, we have Javier Ferreira, who serves as a Co-CEO for Scopely, a high-growth mobile games company. During Ferreira's career in mobile and gaming, he has built and managed businesses ranging from $30 million to $1 billion.
Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 Business Leaders of Los Angeles for 2023.
1. Christie Fleischer
Chief Executive Officer, Benefit Cosmetics
Christie Fleischer is the CEO of Benefit Cosmetics, which was founded in 1976 by twins Jean & Jane Ford in San Francisco. Ever since, they have been making their own rules, shaking up the status quo, and serving up inventive beauty solutions with a side of laughter and fun. Today, they are in 59 countries with more than 3,000 BrowBars & 5,000 trained beauty service experts worldwide. Benefit was built on the belief that, above all else, beauty should be fun and make you feel good. Every new beauty product or service they dream up is about igniting joy—to surprise & delight you, to inspire you to be fearless, to invite you in on the fun.
Fleischer first joined the company in 2019. Previously, she was the head of global consumer products at Netflix. Before that, she served as a head of merchandise and product development in Disney Parks, Experiences & Consumer Products at The Walt Disney Company. Earlier in her career, she worked with Warnaco as a sales and merchandising manager. Fleischer earned an MBA from the University of Southern California.
2. Robert Helsley
Chief Executive Officer, MRM Worldwide
Robert Helsley is the CEO of MRM Worldwide, a company that creatively engineers total human experiences. Through purposeful, dynamic intersections between consulting, creative, technology, data sciences and commerce, MRM operates in a borderless, integrated way, to allow for greater collaboration, connections and velocity — all to the service of helping businesses grow meaningful relationships with people.
Notably, MRM is part of McCann Worldgroup and the Interpublic Group of companies (NYSE: IPG) and spans 35 offices across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Helsley joined the company in 1985. Previously, he was an area manager at Oki Semiconductor America. Before that, he served as a sales engineer at National Semiconductor. Earlier in his career, he worked with Raytheon Semiconductor as a distributor sales manager. Helsley earned an undergraduate degree in political science from Cal State Northridge.
3. Harshith Ramesh
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Episource
Harshith Ramesh began his professional career 22 years ago. Today, he is the Co-CEO of Episource, a leading provider of risk adjustment services, software, and solutions for health plans and medical groups. As an integrated platform, Episource empowers Commercial, Medicare, and Medicaid health plans with end-to-end risk adjustment solutions, including risk adjustment analytics, retrospective chart reviews, and encounter submissions. They are reinventing how healthcare organizations manage their member populations in an ever-changing landscape — and this is no easy task.
Ramesh got his start in 2001 as an analyst in Technology Investment Banking at Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. From there, he went on to America Online, before eventually rising to founder and CEO at LoanStar, his most recent position prior to joining Episource. Ramesh graduated from The Wharton School with an MBA in finance and from Tulane University with an undergraduate degree in finance and economics.
4. Therese Tucker
Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer, BlackLine
Therese Tucker is the Founder and Co-CEO of BlackLine, a global company with operations in Los Angeles, New York, the San Francisco Bay area, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Singapore, and Sydney. Companies come to BlackLine (Nasdaq: BL) because their traditional manual accounting processes are not sustainable. BlackLine’s cloud-based financial operations management platform and market-leading customer service help companies move to modern accounting by unifying their data and processes, automating repetitive work, and driving accountability through visibility. BlackLine provides solutions to manage and automate financial close, accounts receivable, and intercompany accounting processes, helping large enterprises and midsize companies across all industries do accounting work better.
Prior to launching financial controls and automation software leader BlackLine in 2001, Tucker was the Chief Technology Officer at SunGard Treasury Systems. When she started BlackLine, Tucker had more than 25 years in financial accounting and technology development experience under her belt; and was focused initially on providing a wealth management solution to First National Bank of Nebraska. When an accountant expressed frustration over the bank’s manual processes to reconcile the books, Tucker took notice. She graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computer science.
“BlackLine is first in the finance and accounting automation space (and maybe for software companies overall?) to deliver a five-day implementation offering. We’re very proud of this milestone.”
5. Stephan Samouilhan
Chief Executive Officer, Keyrus Americas
Stephan Samouilhan is the CEO of Keyrus Digital Americas and Keyrus LATAM, managing over 800 people. Samouilhan is a highly experienced global professional in the Data & Digital segment with strong focus on innovation and how technology can impact business and society. His company, Keyrus, is an international player in performance management consultancy and technologies. It is a specialist in performance management consulting and the integration of innovative technological solutions in the data and digital fields. The company offers enterprises with major lines of innovative and complementary services, in consulting and technologies such as assessment, implementation, and upgrading of innovative technological solutions, among others.
Keyrus is a France-based company that was founded in 1996. The company was acquired by QualityGates on October 20, 2011. Notably, Samouilhan has 27 years of experience. Before joining Keyrus Americas, he was a director of program management in BRMS products at ILOG; and before that, he served as a director in the EMEA professional services group at Netonomy. Earlier in his career, he worked with SAP BusinessObjects as a software development engineer. Samouilhan graduated from ESIEA, Graduate School of Engineering with a master’s in mathematics and IT and from Lycee Carnot with an undergraduate degree in mathematics.
6. Javier Ferreira
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Scopely
Javier Ferreira is a senior digital media executive with over 15 years of experience in mobile and gaming. During his career, he’s built and managed businesses ranging from $30 million to $1 billion – and teams of 100+ across all business and product functions. He currently serves as a Co-CEO for Scopely, a high-growth mobile games company that has launched six consecutive top-grossing franchises in the last four years.
Previously, Ferreira was an SVP of games publishing in Disney Interactive at The Walt Disney Company, where he was responsible for games publishing across mobile, console, and online. Before that, he served as a CEO at TF Online. Earlier in his career, he worked with Telefonica Moviles as a head of product and games. Ferreira earned an MS in social anthropology from the University of Oxford and an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Warwick.
7. Tony Turgeman
Chief Executive Officer, Worldwide Express
Tony Turgeman is the CEO of Worldwide Express, a company that provides personal and professional guidance in the International Market Place. As a licensed Customs Broker, NVOCC's and Foreign Freight Forwarders, they have the resources you need to complete your import or export transactions. Worldwide Express offers fast, secure, 24/7 local pickup and delivery, serving all of Los Angeles County and beyond. With their 23 years of operation experience, they're more than confident that they'll be able to meet any of your delivery needs! Notably, Turgeman has been with the company since 2000.
8. Andy Mooney
CEO, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation
As CEO of Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Andy Mooney brings more than 40 years of experience. He worked at Nike for 20 years, starting in the UK as CFO before segueing into marketing and becoming CMO in the US for the first time in 1994. Mooney went on to found Nike’s Equipment Division, led Nike’s $3 billion apparel division, and became CMO for a second time in 1998 – at which point Nike’s revenues topped $10 billion. Following Nike, Mooney spent 11 years at Disney, becoming Chairman of Disney Consumer Products. During this time, he spearheaded the launch of the monumental Disney Princess Franchise, which was recently valued at over $4 billion.
Mooney brought this same determination and catalyzed change when he joined FMIC in 2015, turning the then 70-year-old company into a consumer-first brand. While Mooney’s leadership style has evolved over time to match the scale of organizations he’s been fortunate to lead, Mooney views fear as the main barrier to personal growth, and fearlessly advocates for bold ideas in his team's work. Today, FMIC’s portfolio continues revolutionizing music and culture as one of the world’s leading musical instrument manufacturers, marketers and distributors.
9. Bryant Riley
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, B. Riley Financial
Bryant Riley is a financial services executive with extensive experience in investment banking, brokerage, corporate finance and creative deal structuring with deep capital markets expertise. He currently serves as the Chairman and Co-CEO of B. Riley Financial, a publicly traded, diversified provider of financial and business advisory services. Founded in 1997, the company is a research-centric investment bank delivering proprietary equity research of underfollowed or misunderstood companies. Through organic and inorganic growth initiatives, the B. Riley platform has significantly diversified its services capabilities, while maintaining their core investment philosophy.
Previously, Riley held various positions in the brokerage industry, primarily as an institutional salesman and trader. He served as Co-Head of Equity at Dabney-Resnick, Inc., a Los Angeles-based brokerage firm. He also co-founded Huberman-Riley, a Texas-based brokerage. Riley graduated from Lehigh University with an undergraduate degree in finance.
B. Riley Financial Milestone
“B. Riley Financial (Nasdaq: RILY) was ranked #2 on the FORTUNE 100 Fastest Growing Companies list in 2021 based on revenue growth rate, EPS growth rate, and three-year annualized total return for the period ended June 30, 2021”
10. Terry Boyle
Chief Executive Officer & President, Zulily
Terry Boyle became President and CEO of Zulily in March 2022. In this role, Boyle leads the online retailer’s growth strategies and operations, leveraging technology and innovation to create engaging shopping experiences for Zulily’s core customers – millions of moms. Zulily is an online superstore committed to delivering a fun shopping experience for moms everywhere, without breaking the bank. Through exclusive daily deals, brand names and on-trend styles, and everyday value on a wide selection of daily essentials across clothing, footwear, homewares and more, Zulily helps moms discover great deals, create special moments for the family, and find the perfect unique items, guilt-free. Prior to joining Zulily, Boyle was CEO & Co-Founder of Behold.
Boyle has had a dynamic career in leading and delivering digital growth strategies for retailers. He was the first executive hired at HauteLook, a members-only discount shopping website. He joined the Nordstrom leadership team in 2011 as part of Nordstrom’s acquisition of HauteLook. At Nordstrom, Boyle led the design and launch of Nordstromrack.com and served as President of Nordstromrack.com and HauteLook. In 2017, he added the role of President, Trunk Club. Boyle began his career at Ernst & Young Consulting, where he helped launch and manage the Customer Relationship Management global practice. He serves as an independent director for The Black Tux. Boyle earned his bachelor’s in social studies magna cum laude from Harvard College.
11. Pasquale Rotella
Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Insomniac Events
Pasquale Rotella is the Founder and CEO of global entertainment lifestyle brand, Insomniac. The world’s leading music festival and live events production company, Insomniac is widely known for the globally renowned dance music festival Electric Daisy Carnival. Rotella launched Insomniac in 1993 as a producer of the underground rave scene. At only 19 years old, he developed Nocturnal Wonderland in 1995, which is not only the longest-running festival in the Insomniac portfolio, but the longest-running electronic music festival in the United States. Soon after, Rotella unveiled the inaugural EDC in Los Angeles in 1997 as a warehouse party where it quickly developed a loyal following before evolving into a multi-day festival.
Three decades later and under Rotella’s leadership, Insomniac continues to expand its portfolio of offerings beyond music festivals. Rotella is regularly recognized for his exceptional work leading Insomniac. He has been celebrated on Billboard’s annual Power 100 list every year from 2013-2023. In 2014 he was featured on Rolling Stone’s list of “Most Important People in EDM,” and in 2017, he was awarded the key to the Las Vegas Strip by Clark County, NV along with EDC being named the “Festival Of The Year” at the Electronic Music Awards.
Insomniac Events Milestones
“In the past year, the Los Angeles-based Insomniac produced over 40 festivals, 200 concerts and 1,500 club nights. The 40 festivals alone generated over $1 billion in economic impact.”
12. Aurelian Lis
Global Chief Executive Officer, Dermalogica
Aurelian Lis is the global CEO of Dermalogica, a subsidiary of Unilever Prestige. Leading through digital transformation and consumer insight, Lis has rapidly grown the business as the global #1 professional skincare brand. Between 2010 and 2015, Lis was the General Manager of the Americas for Benefit Cosmetics, an LVMH subsidiary. There he held full responsibility for the US, Canadian, Mexican, Brazilian and Chilean business including sales, company boutiques, home shopping, e-commerce, marketing, visual merchandising, training and digital marketing.
Previously, Lis was President and Co-founder of PRESCRIBEDsolutions. Before that, he served as a Chief Operating Officer of commerce for dELiA*s Corp. Earlier in his career, he worked with Unilever in Europe on brands including Elizabeth Arden, Cerruti and Lagerfeld. He was also on the board of the Duty Free Confederation and other trade associations. Lis received an MBA with distinction from INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and was awarded first class honors in Physics from St. Peter's College, University of Oxford.
13. Daniel Seah
Chief Executive Officer, Digital Domain
Daniel Seah is the CEO of Digital Domain. Seah played a crucial role in leading Digital Domain's innovation and patented technologies that transformed VFX and immersive experiences. In 2018, Seah founded the Digital Human Research Lab, an independent division that focuses on researching and developing cutting-edge machine-learning technologies to support and push the boundaries of the virtual human field.
Notably, the virtual human technology developed under his leadership allowed for cutting-edge visual effects to enhance the storytelling effects in many Hollywood tentpole films, such as Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, and Spider-Man: No Way Home, to name a few. Seah earned a B.A. and a Master's in Law from Peking University. He began his career at Barclays Bank, where he was an investment expert in securities, options, fund management, and global enterprise expansion. Seah also sits on the board of directors for Digital Domain, serving as Executive Director.
14. Steve Norman
Chief Executive Officer, Norman Regional Health System
Steve Norman is the CEO of Norman Regional Health System, a multi-campus system that provides for the health and wellness needs of their regional communities throughout south central Oklahoma. NRHS is operated by Norman Regional Hospital Authority, a public trust, which serves the public interests and functions as a political subdivision of the State of Oklahoma.
Norman Regional Health System also provides outpatient diagnostic centers, medical transport services, physician services, centers of excellence, durable medical equipment supplies, a primary care network, community wellness service and employer health services. They have grown to employ more than 3,000 people and have over 350 physicians credentialed on the Medical Staff. Norman has 35 years of experience. Before joining Norman Regional Health System, Norman was a CEO at Steve Medical.
15. Rebecca Coleman
Chief Executive Officer, We Are Social US
Rebecca Coleman began her professional career 23 years ago. Today, she is the CEO of We Are Social US, a global socially-led creative agency, with unrivaled social media expertise. With over 1,300 people in 19 offices around the world, they deliver a global perspective to their clients in a time when social media is shaping culture. They work with the world’s biggest brands, including adidas, Samsung, Netflix and Google, to reach the right people in a strategic, relevant and effective way.
Coleman got her start in 2000 as a president and GM at DNA Studio. From there, she went on to WHITTMANHART Interactive, before eventually rising to founder and managing partner at Something Massive, her most recent position prior to joining We Are Social US. Coleman graduated from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and from S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University with an undergraduate degree in advertising.
16. Steven Malony
Chief Executive Officer, Belkin International
Steven Malony is the CEO of Belkin International. He first joined the company in 2005 as a national account manager. Belkin is an accessories market leader delivering power, protection, productivity, connectivity, audio, security, and home automation solutions for a broad range of consumer electronics and enterprise environments over the last 40 years. Designed in Southern California and sold in more than 100 countries around the world, Belkin creates products that empower people to get more life out of every single day.
Previously, Malony was a regional sales executive in Software and E-Business Services at Digital River. Before that, he served as a major accounts manager in Commercial Field Sales at Merisel. Earlier in his career, he worked with New Media Corporation as a western regional and Canadian sales manager. Malony earned an undergraduate degree in economics and business management from UC Irvine.
17. Bryan Cheung
Chief Executive Officer, Liferay
Bryan Cheung is the CEO of Liferay, a company that helps organizations meet their unique challenges by creating innovative, customer-centered experiences on their cloud-powered digital experience platform (DXP). Their platform is open source, which makes it more reliable and secure. Over a thousand organizations in financial services, insurance, manufacturing, healthcare and government use Liferay worldwide. Their goal is to help companies reach their full potential to serve others, and they try to leave a positive mark on the world through their business and technology. Cheung began his career in 2004. He graduated from University of California, Berkeley.
18. Crystal Landsem
Chief Executive Officer, Lulus
Crystal Landsem has served as CEO and a member of the Board of Directors for Lulus since March 2023. Lulus is a customer driven, digitally native fashion brand for women. Based in California and serving millions of customers worldwide, Lulus develops styles with the customer in mind, using direct consumer feedback and insights to refine its products. With fresh inventory hitting the site almost daily, Lulus features on-trend, high-quality, must-have pieces, at affordable prices. As a brand built on customer feedback, Lulus puts an extreme focus on providing exceptional customer service and a personalized shopping experience.
Previously, Landsem served as their Co-President since July 2020 and Chief Financial Officer since September 2015. Prior to joining Lulus, Landsem held broad leadership roles across the consumer and technology industries, including start-ups and organizations such as 11 Main, an Alibaba Group Company, and Walmart. Landsem holds a CPA license in California and received a B.A. degree in Business Administration with an option in Accounting from California State University-Chico.
19. Richard Kirkendall
Chief Executive Officer, Namecheap
Richard Kirkendall began his professional career 22 years ago. Today, he is the CEO of Namecheap, the business of opening doors to online success. They make it possible for anyone to create a winning web presence – by providing easy domain name registration, affordable hosting plans, and all the best apps. They'll point you to site security and privacy products from the most trusted brands around, and their award-winning customer service team is available 24/7 with friendly advice to help you get your site up and running in no time.
As head of the company, Kirkendall’s job is to ensure everyone is focused and aligned with a single goal of bringing a free and open Internet to everyone. He believes in bridging the gap between technology and people – and wants to make it easy for anyone, with any level of technical knowledge, to get online and start their business.
20. Karl Altergott
President and Chief Executive Officer, Dunn-Edwards Corporation
Karl Altergott began his professional career 26 years ago. Today, he is the President and CEO of Dunn-Edwards Corporation, one of the nation’s leading manufacturers and distributors of premium architectural, industrial and high-performance paints, coatings and paint supplies. It operates over 150 company stores; and maintains over 100 domestic and 250 international dealer locations in 12 countries. Dunn-Edwards is dedicated to preserving and protecting the environment and produces its coatings in a LEED ® Gold-certified manufacturing plant. Based in Southern California, the almost 100-year-old company has approximately 1,700 employees.
Altergott got his start in 1997 as a director at Rain Bird Corporation. From there, he went on to BMK, before eventually rising to CEO at Rincon Industries, Inc., his most recent position prior to joining Dunn-Edwards Corporation. Altergott graduated from Pepperdine Graziadio Business School with an MBA and from Loyola Marymount University with an undergraduate degree in engineering.
21. Advait Shinde
Chief Executive Officer, GoGuardian
Advait Shinde is the CEO of GoGuardian, a company that aims to help all learners feel ready and inspired to solve the world's greatest challenges by combining the best in learning and science technology across every part of the learning journey. Their award-winning system of educational tools (which includes Giant Steps, Pear Deck, and GoGuardian Teacher for learning engagement; Edulastic for assessments; TutorMe for virtual on-demand tutoring; and GoGuardian Admin and Beacon to support student safety) is purpose-built for K-12.
Shinde’s dedication to help unlock student potential in education is made clear through his mission of using the internet in an open, but safe way. In his role as CEO of GoGuardian, Shinde brings his passion for using data and technology to solve problems in education. Before co-founding GoGuardian, Shinde worked at Google as an engineer, combining innovation with the power of scale and helping to launch key products, such as Google Pay (formerly Google Wallet). Shinde holds a B.S. in Computer Science from UCLA.
22. Ahmad Ouri
Chief Executive Officer, SONIFI Solutions
Ahmad Ouri is CEO for SONIFI® Solutions, Inc. Since taking this role in January 2015, he has leveraged a culture of innovation rejuvenating the company’s growth and performance. The development of patented new technology while under his direction includes STAYCAST, an industry-leading, first-to-market streaming solution created in partnership with Google Chromecast. Furthermore, SONIFI’s Healthcare business in the past 3 years grew significantly from start-up levels to a business with a solid growth trajectory.
At SONIF, Ouri also influenced growth by expanding servicing contracts and positioning the company as the first provider to offer a cost effective coax-based Wi-Fi solutions (DOCSIS). Prior to joining SONIFI, Ouri was CEO of Technicolor’s out of home advertising business. Previously he also held other executive roles for Technicolor, including CMO and CTO. He also served in business leadership roles at global conglomerate Philips Electronics. He holds degrees from the University of Utah, which include an MBA, and BS degrees for Electrical Engineering and Mathematics.
23. Denyelle Bruno
Chief Executive Officer, Pet Food Express
Denyelle Bruno is the Chief Executive Officer of Pet Food Express. Founded in 1980, Pet Food Express is a California-based company dedicated to enhancing the well-being of pets across the state. With a steadfast commitment to quality and trustworthiness, they have become a trusted name in the pet care industry.
Before Joining Pet Food Express, Bruno founded HUGS and was the CEO of Perfect Union. She was also a CEO at Tender Greens and a VP of Retail Strategy and Market Expansion at Peet's Coffee & Tea. Earlier in her career, she worked with Macy's as a Regional Merchandise Manager. Bruno graduated from the University of San Francisco with a Master's in Organizational Development and from the University of California, Santa Cruz with an undergraduate degree in Psychology.
24. Michael Broukhim
Co-Founder and Co-CEO, FabFitFun
Michael Broukhim is the Co-CEO and co-founder of FabFitFun, a lifestyle membership platform founded in 2010. FabFitFun is best known for its flagship product, the FabFitFun Box, which offers a curated selection of full-size products in various categories, delivered to members each season.
Before co-founding FabFitFun, Michael served as the Founder & Executive Chairman at Charlie, a media company based in Los Angeles. With over 16 years of career experience, he has demonstrated his entrepreneurial prowess in both media and e-commerce. Michael Broukhim holds a JD in law from Stanford Law School and an undergraduate degree in social studies from Harvard University, underlining his strong educational background.
25. Vishen Lakhiani
Founder and CEO, Mindvalley
Vishen Lakhiani is the founder and CEO of Mindvalley, a learning experience company that publishes ideas and teachings in personal growth, wellbeing, spirituality, productivity, mindfulness, and more. He founded the company in 2003.
Lakhiani is also the founder of Omvana, a meditation app that achieved the Highest Grossing Health & Fitness app status on the Apple Store in over 30 countries. He is the visionary behind A-Fest, an event that gathers a community of change-makers and visionaries driven by epic ideas to impact the world. Earlier in his career, he held the position of Vice-President at AIESEC in the United States. Lakhiani earned his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan.