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Nicholas E. Donatiello

Nicholas Donatiello
Lecturer, Accounting
Contact Info
Lecturer in Management
Academic Area: 

Research Statement

Mr. Donatiello is a recognized expert in the area of consumers, media, and technology. He has conducted hundreds of market research studies aimed at understanding how technology changes the way people consume media and related topics.


Nicholas Donatiello, Jr. is President and CEO of Odyssey.

Since its founding more than 20 years ago Odyssey has been a recognized leader in understanding how technology changes consumer media use habits.  Odyssey has provided both strategic insights and tactical expertise to many of the world’s largest media and technology players, including telecommunications companies, diversified entertainment companies, hardware and software companies, commercial and investment banks, online service companies, and major advertisers.   In addition, Odyssey has invested in and provided guidance to a number of Silicon Valley startups through relationships the company has with top venture capital firms in the area. 

Prior to founding Odyssey, Mr. Donatiello was President and CEO of Arena Systems, a technology company specializing in developing and marketing software for retail chain stores.  He also served as Press Secretary and then Campaign Manager for U.S. Senator Bill Bradley.  Prior to going to Capitol Hill, he was a consultant in the San Francisco office of McKinsey & Co.

An accomplished writer and speaker, Mr. Donatiello has appeared at a wide variety of new media conferences and meetings including principal speaking roles at Agenda, Spotlight, TED (Technology Entertainment Design), and the Annual Meeting of the Association of National Advertisers.  In addition, he has presented Odyssey’s views and facilitated discussions on trends in at-home entertainment, information, and commerce at conferences and in corporate settings around the world, including off-site meetings and seminars for a variety of Fortune 500 companies and their boards of directors.

Widely quoted as an expert on consumers and new media, Mr. Donatiello was selected by Newsweek as one of the “50 People Who Matter Most on the Internet” and has been profiled in Wired magazine.  He has authored articles and columns for numerous publications. 

Mr. Donatiello is a director of Dolby Laboratories (NYSE: DLB), where he chairs the Compensation Committee and sits on the Nominating and Governance and Technology Strategy Committees.  He is also a director of three of the American Funds (The EuroPacific Growth Fund, The New Perspective Fund, and The New World Fund) managed by Capital Research and Management, where he chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee and serves on the complex-wide Joint Proxy Committee.  Combined the three funds have more than $200 billion under management.  The entire American Funds complex has more than $1.25 trillion under management.

Mr. Donatiello is a Lecturer at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business where he lectures on boards, governance, and ethics to first and second year MBA candidates.  Together with Professor David Larcker, he created and teaches “Board Governance” a very popular elective course for second year MBA candidates which examines the roles, responsibilities, and performance of boards in public, early-stage private, and not-for-profit companies. 

Mr. Donatiello is also a director of the Schwab Charitable Fund (AUM in excess of $6 billion), one of the nation’s 10 largest grant-making charities and the largest in California, where he serves on the Investment Oversight Committee and Chairs the Compensation Committee.  He has been a director of numerous private companies and continues to serve on private company boards today.  From 2001 to 2008 he served on the board of KQED, Inc., serving as Chairman of the Board his last three years.  By the end of his tenure as Chairman, KQED, Inc. was the most watched public television broadcaster and most listened to public radio broadcaster in the country.  KQED, Inc. operates KQED Public Television (San Francisco), KQEH Public Television (San Jose), KQET Public Television (Monterey), KQED FM Public Radio (San Francisco), and KQEI FM Public Radio (Sacramento).

Mr. Donatiello earned his undergraduate degree in engineering at Princeton and received his MBA from Stanford University.

Academic Degrees

  • BSE, Engineering, Princeton University
  • MBA, Stanford GSB

Courses Taught

Degree Courses


The course will examine the academic and professional controversies surrounding corporate governance and executive compensation. A basic framework will be developed to integrate the many important dimensions of corporate governance in the U.S....

This course is focused on helping students understand the role boards and board members play in corporate governance and the lives of businesses large and small. This case-driven course is designed to help students who plan to serve on boards as...


This course is focused on helping students understand the role boards and board members play in corporate governance and the lives of businesses large and small. This case-driven course is designed to help students who plan to serve on boards as...

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