Michael Kranitz, CEO
Michael Kranitz is a senior executive, award-winning business writer, author, speaker and entrepreneur with a successful record of creating companies and innovative software solutions since the early 1990's. He began his career as a corporate reorganization lawyer and practiced for nearly 12 years in three different states before leaving the law to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. Kranitz specializes in complex business development, marketing strategy, software creation and innovation as well as new product promotion.
Kranitz' involvement in the businesses on this site is largely described within each business profile. Kranitz' jump from the law began with his book "Look Before You Lease: Secrets to Smart Vehicle Leasing" and LeaseWizard software for consumers in 1996. He followed with LeaseWizard.com, CarWizard.com and LeaseSource.com. Kranitz sold those assets to Denver-based Navidec, Inc. (NASDAQ; NVDC), where he created DriveOff.com, Inc., an Internet auto purchasing and financing subsidiary backed by Wells Fargo Bank (NYSE: WFC), which invested 15 million dollars into the startup. DriveOff.com was sold to a joint venture between Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) in 2000. Microsoft also acquired LeaseWizard.com as part of the transaction.
From 2002-2007, Kranitz designed and created the software for what would become the world's largest online community for radio control hobbyists, RCUniverse.com. During that time, Kranitz spun off the marketplace software into a syndicated classified ad platform for newspapers. In late 2007, Hearst Corporation and MediaNews Group acquired both companies and Kranitz served as CEO until 2010, when he sold his remaining stake in both companies to UK-based Atex. In 2011, Kranitz launched RC Pilot Magazine, a purely digital multimedia magazine product purchased by readers in more than 180 countries. RC Pilot earned an average 4.5 star rating on iTunes.
Kranitz was a Rocky Mountain Regional finalist in the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2008. He has spoken extensively over the last decade in the auto, hobby and newspaper industries and has delivered guest lectures at Vanderbilt University's Owen School of Management and University of Florida's Warrington School of Business as well as at local schools on topics ranging from business to aerodynamics.
During his tenure as a lawyer, Kranitz authored "The Basic Guide to Bankruptcy," a continuing education treatise for practicing lawyers. Kranitz was also a faculty member of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, an organization that educates practicing lawyers on trial practice. Kranitz received the highest ratings from his peers and sitting judges during his years as partner for Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff. Kranitz' clients included Midway Airlines, GMAC, Key Bank and American Cyanamid, among others.
Kranitz performed stand-up comedy in the late 70's (opening for Bob Hope, Kenny Rankin and other performers) and did industrial videos and voice over work through the 1990's. He enjoys building and flying jet-powered radio controlled helicopters and jets, racquetball and chess.