Chris Walters '96
Chief Operating Officer, The Weather Channel
- By Megan Morley Thomas
While still a student at the UVM School of Business Administration, Chris Walters '96 worked in the corporate offices of Bruegger’s Bagels. This experience proved to be one of a few jobs that poised him to take over as COO for The Weather Channel, overseeing the technology, finance, legal, research and human resource teams.
“I like to identify the biggest challenges facing an organization and then figure out ways to overcome them,” says Walters. “I really enjoy the process of solving problems and helping companies deal with their most pressing issues.”
The pressing issue Walters will focus on for The Weather Channel is rapid expansion both domestically and internationally across media platforms.
“Chris is a strategist with the vision and understanding of the media and digital industries and a track record in operating innovative media and technology businesses,” says David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Channel, adding that Walters will be critical when expanding into new markets.
Four jobs before becoming COO
Walters' first job out of UVM was as a marketing strategist for Hallmark Cards. He then returned to school to work on his master's degree in business administration at the University of Chicago. Next up -- Walters was recruited by consulting firm McKinsey & Company in New York, where he became partner advising media, entertainment and investment companies.
In 2008, he went to work for Bloomberg, where he focused on the future growth of the company’s collection of media properties across television, online, mobile and syndication as head of news and multimedia strategy.
His successful years at Bloomberg came to a close when the opportunity at The Weather Channel presented itself.
"I’ve had four jobs since I graduated from UVM and have enjoyed all of them," Walters says. "I wasn't looking to leave any of them, but all these really interesting opportunities kept coming up and my family (Kati, Alex, and Abigail) have been supportive of the moves required. Fortunately, they've all worked out really well."