Chris Albrecht is CEO of Foresee Entertainment. Albrecht spent more than 20 years at HBO and was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from 2002 to 2007. Before becoming Chairman, he spent seven years as President of HBO Original Programming, directing all day-to-day operations of West and East Coast original programming for HBO, Cinemax and HBO Independent Productions. In addition he oversaw HBO Sports and HBO Film Programming. His tenure was noted for critically-acclaimed series including Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, Deadwood, Band of Brothers and Entourage.
As President of HBO Independent Productions from 1990-1995, Albrecht guided development and production of comedy series for distribution including Martin and Everybody Loves Raymond. Albrecht joined HBO in 1985 as Senior Vice President, Original Programming, West Coast, having spent five years at International Creative Management. At ICM, Albrecht signed and represented top comedians including Jim Carrey, Eddie Murphy, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg. He also co-owned the famed Improvisation comedy club in New York City from 1975 to 1980.
Just prior to founding Foresee, Albrecht served as the President of IMG Global Media, heading the company’s diverse businesses including global sports production operations, global rights acquisition and digital media enterprises. In this position, he oversaw all IMG Entertainment properties and acquisitions, including Tiger Aspect and Darlow Smithson, Productions.
In August, 2008, Albrecht founded Foresee Entertainment where he makes use of his deep network of relationships with both creative talent as well as institutional producers of filmed entertainment, television, and digital media to construct and execute business strategies that both anticipate and grow with the rapidly changing media landscape.
Albrecht has been a long time advocate for homelessness, youth, children’s health and environmental issues and has been a catalyst in focusing the entertainment industry on these and other areas.
He co-founded Comic Relief, which in its 20 years has raised more than $50 million to benefit the homeless, most recently those displaced by Hurricane Katrina. For a decade, he raised funds for the Los Angeles’ Shelter Partnership by enlisting celebrities like George Carlin, Bill Maher and Lewis Black.
Albrecht founded and chaired the Rally to Save Ahmanson Ranch, 3,000 acres of pristine California wilderness formerly threatened by commercial development. In partnership with the NRDC, Heal the Bay, The Sierra Club and other organizations, this effort succeeded in preventing development and turned the land into a State Park. Heal the Bay honored Albrecht with its Walk the Talk Award for his leadership in saving Ahmanson Ranch.
The Los Angeles Mentoring Project has also recognized Albrecht with its Stand Up for Mentoring Award for his involvement with several youth mentoring programs.
Currently, Albrecht co-chairs a $250 million fundraising campaign for Childrens Hospital in Los Angeles.
He lives in Los Angeles and New York and has two daughters, Tess and Kate.
John Penney is President of Foresee Entertainment. He oversees Foresee’s operations and the planning and development of its strategy, expansion efforts and new business platforms.
Penney brings a deep and varied media and entertainment background to Foresee. During the five years he was with HBO, most recently as Senior Vice President, Digital Initiatives, he oversaw the strategic planning, delivery and operational management of new advertising-supported broadband channels. More recently, Penney served as Head of Global Media Strategy for IMG, Inc., where he was responsible for developing and implementing a new global entertainment strategy, focusing on production and distribution of non-scripted, scripted, and digital programming.
Penney was an early proponent of the digital transformation of the entertainment industry. As Executive Vice President at ACTV, Inc., he oversaw the development and licensing of technologies and intellectual property for interactive television, personal computer, wireless data and mobile entertainment environments. He also served as consultant and Managing Director, at Scient, Inc., where he created and marketed digital migration strategies for major entertainment content and distribution companies. Penney also served as Vice President, Planning and Development, for Viacom, Inc.
Even before his direct experience working for media and content companies, Penney had developed a deep financial expertise in the sector. He spent seven years on Wall Street, both as an equity research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc. covering the media and entertainment industries, and as a financial analyst in the Media & Telecommunications Corporate Finance group of The Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. John has also consulted for major media and telecommunications companies, including AT&T where he provided strategic guidance on the launch of the company’s IPTV service and targeted advertising technology platform.
At Foresee, Penney applies his business/product development, strategy, management, and financial expertise to developing next-generation, advertising supported and premium digital/traditional media & entertainment platforms. Penney is currently focusing on creating new business models, and product suites for broadband, mobile, and technology-enabled entertainment platforms. He joined Foresee in September 2008 and is based in Los Angeles.
Penney holds a B.A. in Social Psychology from Wesleyan University and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy & Administration, concentrating in Science & Technology, from Columbia University. He currently is a member of the board of directors of Arbinet, a NASDAQ traded provider of electronic markets for telecommunications services and digital goods.
He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter.