James W. Keyes

EIF Founder

James W. Keyes is currently the Chairman and CEO of Wild Oats Marketing LLC. Before that he was former chief executive to two Fortune 500 companies, Blockbuster Inc. and 7-Eleven, Inc.

Keyes served from 2007-2011 as chairman and chief executive officer of Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE: BBI), one of the world's leading providers of movie and game entertainment with reported worldwide revenues of over $5 billion and more than 7,000 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. At Blockbuster, he was able to diversify the offering to provide the Blockbuster customer access to their favorite movies in store, by mail, in kiosks and via the internet with Blockbuster OnDemand. He led a restructuring of the company and the successful sale of assets to Dish Networks, preserving over 19,000 jobs and providing continuity for the Blockbuster brand, its customers and its suppliers.

A 21-year veteran of 7-Eleven Inc., (NYSE: SEI) the world's largest chain of convenience stores, Keyes served as its president and CEO from 2000 through 2005. Under his leadership, the company experienced record sales and profits and implemented new retail systems technology that improved product assortment decisions in every store. He also ushered in a new era for 7-Eleven through the introduction of a host of new electronic services.

Prior to serving as president and CEO, Keyes held a variety of positions at 7-Eleven, including chief financial officer and executive vice president and chief operating officer. Keyes retired from 7-Eleven upon the sale of the company in 2005.

Keyes graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor’s degree from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts and earned an MBA from Columbia University.

Keyes serves on numerous civic boards, including the national board of governors of the American Red Cross, The Dallas Symphony Association, the Cooper Institute, the SMU/Cox School of Business, Columbia School of Business and the Dallas Education Foundation. A recipient of the Horatio Alger Award in 2005 and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 2008, Keyes was also the founder of the Education is Freedom foundation, which provides college scholarships for hard-working young students.

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