Ted Waitt

Chairman and Founder

Waitt Foundation & Waitt Institute

Born in Sioux City, Iowa, Ted Waitt is the son of a 4th-generation cattleman. He attended the Universities of Colorado and Iowa before dropping out and co-founding the values driven computer company, Gateway, in 1985. Labeled a maverick by national business publications, he became a Fortune 500 CEO and a member of the Forbes 400 by the time he was barely 30.

In 1993, Waitt founded the Waitt Foundation, a grant making organization, that has committed over $200 million to ocean conservation alone. After retiring from Gateway in 1999, he founded the Waitt Institute, an operating foundation, that has become the leading entity assisting committed countries with their marine spatial planning, blue economy planning, and sustainable fisheries management.

Always looking for ways to accelerate progress through collaboration, in 2011 he co-founded Oceans 5, an ocean funders collaborative, that then became a founding partner of the Blue Prosperity Coalition created by Waitt in 2018.

Mr. Waitt is also passionate about scientific exploration. For over a decade, he served on the boards of the National Geographic Society, funding dozens of expeditions, and the Salk Institute for Biological studies, establishing the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center.

Waitt currently dedicates his time and resources to sustainably enable the oceans and the communities that depend on them to thrive. He has four grown children and currently resides in the Los Angeles area with his wife, Michele