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Kelly Merryman: Global Views

By India Ogazi

Kelly Merryman

For more than a decade, Kelly Merryman, BBA '98, has been at the helm of a series of transformative new ventures in entertainment. From Sony Pictures to Netflix to YouTube, Merryman's work has been at the forefront of the digital distribution revolution.

As vice president of content partnerships for YouTube, her latest venture is the launch of YouTube TV, an inexpensive monthly TV package designed for the millennial generation.

Merryman grew up in a household where she knew anything was possible if she worked hard and wanted it badly enough. The eldest daughter of an elementary school teacher and a petroleum engineer, she says her ambitious and optimistic outlook on life began with her parents. "A belief that I control my future has been a powerful force in my life," she says.

"Each day, each week, each season brings a new set of challenges and a new chance to reinvent."

At McCombs, she majored in finance and business honors. Her first job as an associate consultant with Bain & Company took her to Johannesburg, South Africa, where Merryman discovered a thirst for new cultures, a passion for quality and equal education, and a realization that history must be understood, discussed, and shared.

After receiving her MBA from Harvard, she carried her passion to Sony Pictures and then to Netflix. While at Netflix, she led efforts to bring the innovative subscription streaming service to Canada, Latin America, and much of Europe.

In 2015, Merryman joined Google-owned YouTube. She leads a team of 150 people working in more than 20 countries. While partnerships include major players such as the New York Times, the NFL, and the BBC, she's also focused on supporting women in the Middle East who use YouTube as a platform to share their stories with the world.

"We're also helping publishers reimagine the distribution of news to global audiences in times of crisis and important events," she says. "I feel so lucky to be at YouTube — a platform where everyone has a voice."

From the spring 2017 issue of McCombs, the magazine for alumni and friends of the McCombs School of Business.

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