Michael Joe is an established entertainment industry operator, having served for nearly three decades as a key executive and advisor for major studios and independent production entities as they built their businesses and navigated an ever-changing media landscape. In 2022, alongside fellow co-founders Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Joe launched Artists Equity, an artist-led studio that creates entrepreneurial partnerships with filmmakers to empower their creative vision.
Throughout his career, Joe has held a variety of senior leadership roles in numerous leading entertainment organizations, frequently leading business transformation efforts in response to the evolving production, distribution, and technology landscape. He spent fifteen years at Universal Studios, working first on its M&A team across transactions in the film, television, music, and theatrical exhibition spaces, including the acquisition of Polygram; the merger of Loews Theaters and Cineplex Odeon; and the merger of Universal Television and USA Network/Sci-Fi Channel with HSN. Joe later oversaw the business development and strategy team at Universal Pictures, where he negotiated and closed a $1B slate financing transaction, led the negotiations that resulted in the formation of Illumination Entertainment with Chris Meledandri, and oversaw the acquisition of Good Machine to form Focus Features.
As President of Relativity Media, Joe helped launch a US film distribution operation across theatrical, home entertainment, and on-demand platforms, and while at STX, he served as Chief Operating Officer, managing business operations for the studio. He has also led media investments for Wall Street hedge funds Elliott Management and Seer Capital.
Additionally, Joe has advised numerous successful independent content companies, including SISTER, PICTURESTART, and Unanimous Media.