Col Needham is the founder and CEO of IMDb, the world’s most popular and authoritative source for information on movies, TV shows and celebrities. Born and living in the UK, Col has had a lifelong interest in both technology and movies. After starting a computer games software business at the age of 14, he went on to complete a computer science degree at Leeds University before commencing a career in technology research in Bristol, England.
IMDb grew out of a personal database of movie information which Col created as a teenager, combined with similar data collected on the internet in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Col published the first version of IMDb online in October 1990 and coordinated IMDb as a worldwide volunteer effort from 1990-1996. IMDb incorporated in January 1996 with the volunteers as shareholders and IMDb became a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon in April 1998. IMDbPro, the essential resource for entertainment professionals, launched in 2002 and continues to empower its members to launch and grow their careers.
Col continues in his original role to this day, working from an office in Bristol with IMDb staff members in countries around the world. Col is a board member of Into Film and Film Independent, and he received a 2014 Creative Coalition Independent Spotlight award for his work to support independent filmmaking. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bristol in 2018. Col has been a jury member for leading film festivals around the world, including the Mumbai Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Tribeca Film Festival.