Marc Shmuger’s years of experience in the movie industry have seen him go from one success to another. His time as President of Marketing was so successful that he was offered the position of Vice Chairman after just two and-a-half years in the role. As Vice Chairman at Universal he oversaw such box office successes as Bridget Jones’ Diary and the Bourne series. While of course great films in their own rights, they owe at least some of their success to Shmuger’s innovative marketing tactics.
It’s little surprise that he was promoted to Chair of the company. Using his new position, he founded Universal Pictures International to market and distribute Universal’s films globally. This move helped break box office records, many of them already held by Universal. Other innovations overseen by Shmuger while Chair include the creation of Illumination Entertainment, Universal’s successful attempt to break into the world of animated film. The company has since gone on to produce Despicable Me and its sequels, creating serious competition for its rivals in the field of animations. Mr. Shmuger’s time at Universal led to numerous awards, both for films he helped greenlight and promote and for him personally: He was awarded the 2009 Pioneer of the Year Award from the Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Foundation, and the 2008 General Electric Performance Turnaround Award for his work.
However, as a look at Marc Shmuger’s profile on LinkedIn makes clear, his work in film, however successful, is only a small part of his contribution to the world at large. He also has a whole roster of philanthropic and charitable activities that put most other people to shame. His primary charitable work focuses on helping children living in poverty in America and around the world. He and his wife are part of the ‘Circle of Friends and Partners’ of the GO Campaign, a group that works to improve the lives of orphans and vulnerable children around the world. He also works with or supports a number of Los Angeles-based organizations that work with children and families, helping with housing, education, and community and legal services for the most vulnerable people in LA. He also volunteers with groups that promote sporting activities for at-risk youth, due to the statistical correlation between take-up of a sport and avoidance of risky behavior. He is a mentor for several groups that promote basketball and football to children as healthy activities that will keep them away from drugs and crime.
In his own charitable work, Mr. Shmuger has campaigned to raise awareness of the role digital technology can play in bringing education to the poorest people around the world. He has drawn attention to the possibilities offered by Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and to ways the internet has been used successfully in different ways across the world, by charities and governments, to provide a higher standard of education for everyone, especially the poorest and most vulnerable.
Marc Shmuger’s profile as one of the most successful people in his industry has allowed him to draw attention to numerous small charities, which, with his support have been able to expand their programs and improve the lives of children.