Forest Road Acquisition Corp. II
- Technology, Media, Telecommunications, Consumer
Thomas Staggs has served as our Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairperson of the Board since inception. Mr. Staggs has been the Executive Chairman of Bertsch Industries, GmbH, a company engaged in the development, manufacturing, and marketing of eco-friendly water-soluble substitutes for plastic across a range of applications since August 2020. Since March 2017, Mr. Staggs has served as the Executive Chairman of Vejo, Inc., a nutrition company that manufactures and sells pod-based nutritional beverage blends and associated devices. Since June 2017, Mr. Staggs has been a member of the board of directors and the Chairperson of the audit committee of Spotify Technology S.A. (NYSE: SPOT). From 1990 to October 2016, Mr. Staggs held various positions at The Walt Disney Company, including as Chief Financial Officer, Chairman of Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide, Chief Operating Officer, and Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer. Since November 2018, Mr. Staggs has served as a director of PureForm Global Inc., a company engaged in development and sale of synthetically produced cannabidiol and other cannabinoids. Mr. Staggs has served as a member to the board of directors of Weta Digital, a digital visual effects company and the parent company of Weta Animated, since December 2020. Mr. Staggs has served as a director of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX), a special purpose acquisition company like ours that is searching for a target business with which to consummate an initial business combination, since September 2020, and the Chairperson of its Strategic Advisory Committee since November 2020. Since August 2020, Mr. Staggs has served as a director of REQPay, a company engaged in development and management of a cloud-based construction management platform. In addition, Mr. Staggs serves on the boards of trustees of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management and the Center for Early Education. He also was previously a member of the board of directors at Euro Disney SCA from 2002 to February 2015. Mr. Staggs is an investor in and serves on the strategic advisory board of Forest Road. Mr. Staggs holds a B.S. in Business from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mr. Staggs is well-qualified to serve on our Board due to his extensive experience in the entertainment industry, expertise in corporate finance and operations, as well as his publicly company experience.
Kevin Mayer has served as our Co-Chief Executive Officer and Co-Chairperson of the Board since inception. In November 2020, Mr. Mayer agreed to advise Access Industries with the title of Senior Advisor. From May 2020 to August 2020, Mr. Mayer served as Chief Executive Officer of TikTok Inc. and Chief Operating Officer of ByteDance Ltd., TikTok’s parent company. Prior to joining TikTok, Mr. Mayer oversaw the launch of Disney+ while serving as Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International division at Disney. After joining Disney in 1993, Mr. Mayer led strategy and business development for Disney’s interactive and television businesses worldwide. He later became Executive Vice President of the internet group, responsible for the operations, business plans, creative direction, and distribution of Disney’s popular websites, including ESPN.com and ABCNews.com. Mr. Mayer departed Disney in 2000 but returned in 2005, eventually rising to the role of Chief Strategy Officer before accepting the position of Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International until his departure in May 2020. Prior to rejoining Disney in 2005, Mr. Mayer served as a partner and head at L.E.K. Consulting’s Global Media and Entertainment practice. Prior to L.E.K., he held leading positions at interactive and internet businesses, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Clear Channel Interactive, where he managed all aspects of new media business, including content, sales, business and technology development, and distribution. Mr. Mayer is an investor in and serves on the strategic advisory board of Forest Road. Mr. Mayer has served on the Strategic Advisory Committee of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX) since November 2020. Mr. Mayer received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a M.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering from San Diego State University and an M.B.A. degree from Harvard University. Mr. Mayer is well-qualified to serve on our Board due to his extensive experience in the technology industry and management expertise.
Idan Shani has served as our Chief Financial Officer since inception. Mr. Shani has served as the Chief Operating Officer of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX) since September 2020. Since October 2018, Mr. Shani has served as the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Forest Road. Prior to that, Mr. Shani was President and Head of Research of Antarctica Asset Management (U.S.), Inc. (“Antarctica”) and its predecessor Antarctica Asset Management LLC, a global hedge fund solutions firm, from June 2008 to September 2020. He remains involved at Antarctica as a senior independent member of the investment and allocation committee with reporting duties to the board of directors. Mr. Shani was a research analyst at Ivy Asset Management, a firm owned by BNY Mellon, from 2005 to 2008, focusing on credit strategies. Mr. Shani holds a B.A. degree in Economics with a Division of Studies in Management (summa cum laude) from The Open University of Israel.
Zachary Tarica has served as our Chief Operating Officer since inception. Mr. Tarica has served as the Chairperson of the Board of Directors and Chief Investment Officer of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX) since September 2020. Mr. Tarica is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Forest Road, a specialty finance company formed in May 2017 focused on tax credit lending across the entertainment, renewable energy, and real estate sectors, as well as film tax credit administration and tax credit brokerage. Prior to establishing Forest Road, Mr. Tarica served as a Credit Analyst at Brookfield Asset Management from June 2014 to May 2018. From 2008 to 2014, Mr. Tarica worked for Deutsche Bank as a distressed desk analyst focused on investing in special situations in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Mr. Tarica holds a B.S. degree in Business with a minor in Organizational Communications from Northeastern University.
Jeremy Tarica has served as our Chief Investment Officer since inception. Mr. Tarica has served as the Head of SPACs and Opportunistic Investments of Forest Road since November 2020. Since November 2020, Mr. Tarica has also served as the Head of the Investment Team for Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX), supporting all sourcing, valuation, diligence, and deal execution efforts. From September 2017 to November 2020, Mr. Tarica worked at Advance, the Newhouse family’s operating holding company, on the Strategic Investments & Acquisitions team where he helped execute on a multi-billion capital deployment plan across a series of large acquisitions and growth equity investments in the TMTC space. From June 2016 to September 2017, Mr. Tarica worked for Bank of America as an investment banking analyst in its Global Technology, Media & Telecom Coverage Group advising on a variety of complex transactions. Mr. Tarica holds a B.S. degree in Human and Organizational Development with a minor in Financial Economics from Vanderbilt University.
Keith L. Horn will serve as a director as of the effective date of the registration statement. Mr. Horn is the founder and managing member of Loring Capital Advisors, LLC, a firm providing investment advisory and consulting services to hedge fund managers, asset management firms, and early-stage and start-up businesses, which Mr. Horn founded in 2016. Mr. Horn has served as the Chief Executive Officer, Secretary, and director of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX) since September 2020. From 2003 to 2015, Mr. Horn served as Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Management Committee and Valuation Committee of Elliott Management Corporation, a global multi-strategy firm, where he was responsible for global management and oversight of operational, support, and control functions of the firm’s investment advisory business. Prior to that, beginning in 1987, Mr. Horn spent 16 years at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated, serving in various capacities, including Global Head of Leveraged Finance, Head of Latin America Debt, and Chief of Staff to the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. Mr. Horn began his career in private practice as a corporate and securities attorney. In July 2019, Mr. Horn was appointed to the Strategic Advisory Board of Investcorp Strategic Capital Partners, a fund established to assemble a diverse portfolio of general partnership stakes in alternative asset managers. Since January 2019, Mr. Horn has served as a director of Caliper Holdings, a company engaged in the consumer and commercial ingredients food and beverage business. Since March 2018, Mr. Horn has served as a director of ShopOne Centers REIT, Inc., an owner and operator of shopping malls. From April 2016 to November 2019, Mr. Horn served on the board of directors of Empire Resorts, Inc. (NasdaqGM: NYNY), which operates in the gaming and hospitality industries (“Empire”). Mr. Horn served as Chairperson of Empire’s audit committee and as Chairperson of Empire’s special committee in its review and approval of an acquisition transaction pursuant to which Empire became a privately-held entity. Mr. Horn also serves on the board of directors for the Binghamton University Foundation and is a member of the Foundation investment committee. He is also a member of the board of directors of PeacePlayers International, a non-profit organization that uses the game of basketball to educate and unite children in areas of conflict around the world. Mr. Horn is an investor in and serves on the strategic advisory board of Forest Road. Mr. Horn received his J.D. (cum laude) from Georgetown University Law Center and holds B.A. degrees in Economics and Political Science from Binghamton University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors. Mr. Horn is well-qualified to serve on our Board due to his extensive operating, investment, and corporate finance experience, along with his board experience.
Martin Luther King III will serve as a director as of the effective date of the registration statement. The oldest son of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Mr. King is a celebrated human rights advocate who has devoted his life to promoting civil and global human rights. Since 2006, Mr. King has served as the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Realizing the Dream, a non-profit organization that continues the humanitarian and liberating work of his parents, through which he has spearheaded nonviolence training in Bosnia Herzegovina, India, Israel and Palestine, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and the United States. In 2011, Mr. King co-founded Bounce TV, an African American broadcast network. Mr. King served as the fourth President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference from 1997 to 2004. Mr. King has served as a director and a member of the audit committee, compensation committee and nominating and corporate governance committee of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX) since November 2020. Since 1997, Mr. King has been Chairman of the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board of MetWest, a mutual fund complex. Mr. King served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of The King Center, based in Atlanta, and remains a member of its board of directors. In 1986, he was elected to the Fulton County Board of Commissioners. He received a B.A. degree in Political Science from Morehouse College. Mr. King is well-qualified to serve on our Board due to his extensive experience in the broadcast network industry and dedication to human rights advocacy.
Salil Mehta will serve as a director as of the effective date of the registration statement. Mr. Mehta has served as the Chief Financial Officer of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX) since October 2020. Mr. Mehta served as Disney’s General Manager, Digital Media and President of FoxNext Games from March 2019 to April 2020. Prior to Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Mr. Mehta served as President of FoxNext from 2016 to 2019 and President, Content Management for 20th Century Studios from 2013 to 2016. He was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer of NBCUniversal’s entertainment, digital networks, and integrated media division from 2011 to 2013. During his tenure at NBCUniversal, Mr. Mehta also served as President of Business Operations, Strategy and Development from 2008 to 2011. From 2005 to 2008, Mr. Mehta served as an Executive Vice President of ESPN Enterprises, where he managed the general responsibilities for all of ESPN’s non-broadcasting businesses including new media, broadband, mobile, publishing, and consumer product businesses. Prior to ESPN, Mr. Mehta held various positions at Disney from 1994 to 2005, including Manager of Corporate Strategic Planning and Executive Vice President of Corporate Business Development. Mr. Mehta received his B.A. in International Relations from Brown University and holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study Political Economy at the Delhi School of Economics in Delhi, India. Mr. Mehta is well-qualified to serve on our Board due to his extensive experience in finance and digital media industry.
Shaquille “Shaq” O’Neal is an American athlete, investor, and entrepreneur, and is regarded as one of the greatest players in NBA history. Mr. O’Neal was elected to both the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and FIBA Hall of Fame. Beyond basketball, Mr. O’Neal has made investments in Google prior to its initial public offering and Ring prior to its sale to Amazon. Mr. O’Neal currently owns multiple franchises, including Auntie Anne’s and Papa John’s Pizza, as well as several restaurants in Las Vegas. Mr. O’Neal moved into e-sports by assuming the role of General Manager of the Kings Guard (NBA 2K League), an e-sports team associated with the Sacramento Kings, in which he owns a minority stake. Mr. O’Neal serves on the board of directors of Papa John’s Pizza, as a national spokesperson for the non-profit Boys & Girls Clubs of America, and as a global spokesperson for Krispy Kreme. Mr. O’Neal has served as a strategic advisor of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX) since November 2020. Mr. O’Neal received his B.A. degree in General Studies from Louisiana State University, an M.B.A. degree from University of Phoenix and an Ed.D degree in Human Resource Development from Barry University.
Sheila A. Stamps has served as a director of Forest Road Acquisition Corp. (NYSE: FRX) since November 2020. Ms. Stamps has been a member of the board of directors, the audit committee, and the executive compensation committee of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI), a technology company providing solutions and analytics to businesses, since September 2020. Since May 2018, Ms. Stamps has served as a member of the board of directors and the Chairperson of the audit committee of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAWW), an airfreight company. Since February 2014, Ms. Stamps has served as a member of the board of directors of CIT Group, Inc. (NYSE: CIT), a financial services company, and its banking subsidiary, CIT Bank, N.A. From July 2014 to July 2018, Ms. Stamps served as the Commissioner of the New York State Insurance Fund, a governmental insurance carrier. During her time at the New York State Insurance Fund, Ms. Stamps also served on the business operations committee and served as Chairperson of the audit committee. Ms. Stamps was the Executive Vice President of DBI, LLC, a private mortgage investment company, from 2011 to 2012. From 2008 to 2011, Ms. Stamps served as the Head of Fixed Income and Cash Management, a senior management member of the Investment Advisory Committee and the Real Estate Advisory Committee of New York State Common Retirement Fund. From 2005 to 2016, Ms. Stamps served as the Managing Director of Golden Seeds, Inc., an investment company. From 2003 to 2004, Ms. Stamps served as a Managing Director and Financial Institutions Group Head at Bank of America (formerly, FleetBoston Financial). From 1997 to 2003, Ms. Stamps held a number of executive positions in Bank One Corporation (now JPMorgan Chase), including Managing Director and Head of European Asset-Backed Securitization and a member of the Operating Management Committee. Ms. Stamps received her B.S. in Management Sciences from Duke University and her M.B.A. from University of Chicago. She was a fellow of Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University and received her CERT Certificate in Cybersecurity Oversight from Carnegie Mellon University.
Harlan B. Cherniak previously served as the Co-Head of the Americas Special Situations strategy at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Inc. (“KKR”) until the end of 2020. KKR aims to generate attractive investment returns for its fund investors following a patient and disciplined investment approach, employing talented people, and driving growth and value creation with its portfolio companies. Since joining KKR in 2013, Mr. Cherniak was responsible for helping both build and lead the global special situations strategy across North America, Europe and Asia and was deeply involved in the origination, execution, corporate governance, and monetization for its portfolio companies, and played an integral role with its Investment, Risk and Analytics, and Portfolio Management Committees. Prior to KKR, Mr. Cherniak has served in a senior investment and portfolio management capacity since 2001, with almost 20 years of experience across investment banking, private equity, and investment management at Venor Capital Management, Longacre Fund Management, JLL Partners, and Credit Suisse. Mr. Cherniak has a deep passion for and longstanding involvement in non-profit organizations focused on education. Mr. Cherniak currently serves on the Board of Overseers of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for YRF Darca, a non-profit organization that is the philanthropic and strategic funding partner for the Darca network of schools in Israel, serving students across the socioeconomic periphery. Mr. Cherniak currently serves as the Chief Business Officer of Forest Road. Mr. Cherniak received his B.S. degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Rick Hess is the founder and a Managing Partner of Cobalt Capital, a multi-stage investment firm that partners with the next generation of digital content, technology, consumer, and lifestyle businesses, which Mr. Hess founded in December 2019. Through the firm’s deep roots in culture and consumer experience investing, Cobalt cultivates meaningful partnerships with entrepreneurs and business leaders creating strategic value for investors. Previously investing in partnership with TPG Growth, and formerly known as Evolution Media, Cobalt Capital invests with strong teams to help them scale their vision. Prior to founding the investment platform, Mr. Hess founded Evolution Media Capital investment bank in partnership with Creative Arts Agency (“CAA”) in 2008 and served as the Co-Managing Partner until 2018. From 2012 to December of 2019, Mr. Hess served as the Chief Executive Officer of Evolution Media. Mr. Hess led the Film Finance group at CAA prior to founding Evolution. Under his leadership the group packaged, raised financing for, and sold numerous films, including Academy Award-winning films Crash, Brokeback Mountain, Goodnight, and Good Luck and The Tree of Life. Previously, he held executive positions at TriStar Pictures and The William Morris Agency, and was President of Phoenix Pictures and Propaganda Films. Mr. Hess is the Chairman of the Board of Inner-City Filmmakers, a non-profit production education program for low-income students that also helps them find jobs in the entertainment industry. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Thrive Scholars and Chrysalis Enterprises. Mr. Hess is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Mr. Hess graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Literature.