Leadership

Chief Executive Officer

Passion statement: "We're better together"

Jeff James

Jeff James is chief executive officer of Colibri Group. As CEO, his vision for the business is simple, yet profound: to become the most admired professional learning company in the world. 

Brazen? Perhaps. But it’s a direct call-back to one of Colibri’s core values, “boldness,” which asks that we fearlessly innovate and challenge boundaries. For Jeff, that’s the way he approaches work, life, and anything in between. 

When it comes to measuring (and maintaining) Colibri’s success, he believes it requires achievement in five areas: people, product, process, promotion, and purchases. Here’s his breakdown of the first three:

People: “It’s about becoming the employer of choice in the education tech or professional learning space,” he says. “I think about genuine care of both our peers and our learners. Being the employer of choice means we don’t have to go out and seek people — they want to come to Colibri.”

Product: “We create opportunities for people to grow in their career by surrounding them with useful content that gets them further down the road — embracing and providing what they want, when they want it, and how they want it.”

Process: “It’s all about creating easy-to-use processes that allow our employees and learners to make decisions on their own.”

While company success is a passion, Jeff is also deeply passionate about U.S. veterans. As such, he’s been actively involved with the Bob Woodruff Foundation, a vet service organization, for the last seven years. The foundation helps veterans with job placement and permanence upon exiting the military and reentering society. Outside of philanthropy, Jeff and his wife enjoy morning bike rides, golf, and cooking. 

Jeff’s favorite core value is curiosity, but he also feels strongly about the principle behind a company’s values in general: “Values aren’t something you put on the wall and look at every once in a while,” he says. “You have to live them.” And curiosity as a favorite? “It’s probably the biggest driver for me. It makes me ask, ‘What could be? How could we make things better?’”

Prior to Colibri Group, Jeff led multiple roles at The Walt Disney Company for more than 25 years. In his tenure, he was instrumental in launching the company’s famous Disney Cruise Line; he also served as vice president and managing director for Disney Destinations International in London. Just before taking the helm at Colibri, Jeff served as Disney’s VP and general manager of the Disney Institute, which helps professionals and organizations learn to leverage Disney’s time-tested business practices.