Known as a humanitarian for his work with Africa and on debt relief, an extremely successful businessman in the media and tech arena, who only ever wanted to be a rock star.
Humanitarian activist, Popstar and serially successful Businessman
Bob Geldof was born in Dublin on 5 October 1954. He entered the music scene as a journalist on Canada’s premier underground rock journal Georgia Straight. Further experience with the New Musical Express and Melody Maker sharpened his prose and upon returning to Dublin, he formed the band The Boomtown Rats, one of the first acts to emerge during the punk/new wave explosion of 1976/77. After a series of hits, including two UK number 1 singles, Geldof emerged as one of the most well known pop personalities of his era. Bob Geldof had always had an acerbic wit and provided excellent interviews with an energy and enthusiasm that matched any of his articulate rivals.
Then in 1984, he turned his attention to the dreadful famine that was plaguing Ethiopia in 1984. Live Aid and Band Aid followed and since then Bob Geldof has been thoroughly identified with the growing Anti Poverty movement around the world. Most recently he attended the G8 meeting with some pretty blunt feedback on the slow response from world leaders to their own earlier pledges.
But there is another, relatively unknown side to Bob Geldof and that is his phenomenal success as a serial entrepreneur. By 1992 Bob Geldof had established himself as a highly astute businessman with his co-ownership of the television production house Planet 24, which began life as Planet Pictures back in the mid-80s. The company broke into the big time by launching the pioneering early morning television series The Big Breakfast in 1992. Planet 24 was sold to Carlton TV. In the late 90s, when Bob encountered problems booking a family holiday over the Internet for his children and his French actress girlfriend Jeanne Marine, Geldof founded online travel agent Deckchair.com. Geldof did it in conjunction with James Page, the successful creator of the Eidos software company, responsible for Lara Croft. Deckchair was purchased by OTC (Online Travel Corporation) in June 2003. Ten Alps Communications was founded by Bob Geldof and Alex Connock in 1999 and sprouted from what was left of Planet 24, their previous TV venture. Ten Alps has been hugely successful and, of recent, productions have included High profile documentaries for the BBC, Channel 4, Five, Sky One and Discovery Events that Changed our World (with Michael Buerk), Jeremy Vine Meets, To Kill and Kill Again, and Manchester United’s Top 50 Goals / The Top 50 Goals Scored Against Manchester United. Thirty-five productions are currently underway fuelled by the growth in broadcasters’ appetite for factual TV.
Bob Geldof has received numerous awards and honours, among them: an honorary Knighthood from Queen Elizabeth 2nd; the MTV “Free Your Mind Award” (Lisbon 4/11/05); the EPM Marketer of the Year Award (Los Angeles); The North-South Council Award (Lisbon 21/11/05); and the Nobel Man of Peace Award which was presented to him by Mikhail Gorbachev at a ceremony in Rome on 24 November 2005. Bob was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 2005 European Hero’s and made the front cover of their European Edition on 10th October 2005. Bob was nominated for the Nobel Peace Award 2007. This is Bob’s sixth nomination.
As a speaker:
Bob Geldof is incredibly well informed, not just about African famines and aid organizations, but also about London and Washington politics, global communications, leadership and entrepreneurship. His presentations are highly provocative and he uplifts and inspires audiences as he motivates them through his own personal experiences and the lessons he has learned along the way. He is an influential and inspiring speaker. He is highly entertaining he remains one of the most professional, powerful and inspiring speakers in the world. He has the ability to absolutely enthrall audiences at all levels as he comes from an un-enviably difficult background and, as a leader and out-and-out entrepreneur, has grown to be one of the most respected figures in the world today.
What Bob’s clients have said:
“Many thanks for what I thought was a really engaging, down to earth and inspirational talk. The audience was totally absorbed in every word that you had to say. Even if only a few of us take up your advice to lead rather than waiting to be led when things need changing, to not be afraid of either failure or of working at making a difference, then you will have done our entire profession a service . . . “
James Sutherland, Head Development and Operations – Lloyds.
” . . . to thank you personally for your invaluable contribution to the recent CNO Conference. Our delegates were both moved and inspired by way that you have responded to events and, in turn, roused so many others to action”.
Christine Beasley, Department of Health, UK.
“All of us here are still talking about last night’s event with amazement and great appreciation for your wonderful contribution! Everyone I talked to, confirmed that this was most certainly the best investor conference we ever organised – thanks to Bob’s speech!”
Burkhard Varnholt, Managing Director, Credit Suisse.