Jeffrey C. Barbakow began his professional career as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch. During his 20-year tenure with the firm, working on Wall Street, in San Francisco and managing their Los Angeles Investment Banking office, he focused on entertainment, media and healthcare clients. While at Merrill Lynch, he served as chairman of ML Film Partners, and president of both ML Media and ML Opportunity Partners.
From 1988 to 1991, he served as chairman, CEO and president of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/United Artists Communications Co (MGM/UA). Under his leadership, the company reasserted itself as a major force in the worldwide entertainment industry. The company was sold in 1991 and he remained co-chairman until 1992 when he returned to investment banking as a managing director of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation. In 1993, he joined National Medical Enterprises, which became Tenet Healthcare Corporation. Under his leadership, Tenet became the nation's second largest healthcare delivery system with 114 hospitals in 16 states.
He earned a BS in industrial design from San Jose State University and an MBA from the University of Southern California. He completed course work for a doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. He was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University.
He is a member of the CEO Board of Advisors at the USC Marshall School of Business and the Chancellor's Council at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He is on the Gryphon Investors Executive Advisory Board, has served as a trustee of Crane Country Day School in Santa Barbara and The Thacher School in Ojai. He is currently serving on the ArtCenter Board of Trustees and as Chairman of the Board of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.