Co-Founder and Chairman
Jonathan D. Klein was the CEO of the global digital media company Getty Images, Inc., the premier creator and distributor of visual communications worldwide since he co-founded the Company in March 1995. At the end of 2015, Jonathan stepped up to the role of Co-Founder and Chairman. He is a leader in the fields of global health, education and international press freedom and the recipient of numerous media, philanthropic and corporate honors.
Jonathan’s strategic vision has led Getty Images’ growth from an analogue image collection with transparencies, laboratories and print catalogs in 1995, to a multi-award winning, billion dollar, global e-commerce business. Today Getty Images is recognized for having the broadest, deepest and highest quality content, serving customers in almost 200 countries, with plans for continued growth.
Through his principled leadership, Jonathan has established a culture at Getty Images that embraces disruption and change. He has driven the most significant business and technology innovations in photography and video, including digitization, e-commerce, new business models, crowd-sourced imagery, keyword and image search technologies, visual trend expertise and groundbreaking partnerships.
Jonathan led a successful broad-ranging consolidation strategy in the early years of the company by acquiring and integrating collections and companies worldwide, including PhotoDisc and iStock by Getty Images, respectively the pioneers in digital royalty-free imagery and user-generated imagery. He drove Getty Images’ launch into news, sports and entertainment imagery, as well as video, music, digital asset management, rights services and assignment photography. Under his direction, Getty Images has built a comprehensive network of exclusive commercial partnerships with the world’s most prestigious media, publishing and entertainment companies, as well as with dozens of the most prominent sports governing bodies across the globe.
Getty Images has a vast and growing network of exclusive commercial and distribution partnerships with the world’s most prestigious media, publishing and entertainment companies, as well as with the most prominent sports governing bodies across the globe. After 12 years of trading publicly on the NASDAQ and the NYSE, Jonathan successfully took Getty Images private in July 2008, in partnership with Hellman & Friedman, in a $2.4 billion transaction. In October 2012, the management team, led by Jonathan, together with the Getty family and The Carlyle Group, acquired Getty Images for $3.3 billion.
Jonathan is the recipient of the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria’s Business Excellence for Innovation award. Under his stewardship, Getty Images received the first International Center of Photography (ICP) Trustees Award, for the company’s commitment to the field of photography, through technology and philanthropy, and dedication to the power of photography to create change. ICP recognized Getty Images again in 2015 for the creation of the Getty Images Lean In collection and its impact on how women are portrayed in media and advertising.
Fast Company recognized Jonathan in its “Fast 50” as a business leader who “will change the way we work and live over the next ten years” and he was named number one on American Photo’s list of the “100 Most Important People in Photography.” Jonathan received the Suffolk University Sawyer Business School 2012 award for Global Leadership in Innovation and Collaboration. He is a frequent speaker on leadership, culture and innovation, enjoys teaching and has lectured at many schools and universities, including Harvard, Yale and the University of Pennsylvania.
Jonathan serves on the boards of directors of the Committee to Protect Journalists, Grassroot Soccer and is the Chairman of the board of Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He is President of the board of trustees of Groton School and serves on the boards of directors of Getty Images, Etsy and Squarespace. Jonathan is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Jonathan has spent much of his life in England and received a master’s degree in law from the University of Cambridge. He moved to the United States in 1999 and now lives in New York City with his wife and three sons.