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Meow Wolf welcomes Jose Tolosa as new CEO

New chief executive officer takes over from Carl Christensen, Ali Rubinstein and Jim Ward

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Jose Tolosa Meow Wolf

Meow Wolf has announced that Jose Tolosa has been appointed to the role of CEO, taking over the role from interim co-CEO’s Carl Christensen, Ali Rubinstein and Jim Ward, who have been in place since October 2019.

Tolosa has 25 years of experience in emerging industries, most recently with ViacomCBS, a Fortune 200 entertainment conglomerate that includes well-known brands such as CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount, BET, Comedy Central, VH1, and Smithsonian.

He joined Viacom in 2008, rising to COO in 2015. He then moved into the role of chief transformation officer in 2017 and has led the integration process for the company’s merger with CBS since 2019, driving the evolution of the business.

meow wolf denver convergence station
Convergence Station, Denver

A people-first approach

In his new role with Meow Wolf. Tolosa will help to build the multimillion-dollar, award-winning arts production company’s expansion and growth. A graduate of Harvard Business School and Georgetown University who hails from Puerto Rico, he brings a people-first mentality and a commitment to diversity and equity.

“Meow Wolf has imagination at its core,” says Tolosa, “It is not only poised to impact communities and artists, as it has already proven, but to change the way people think and experience the world around them.

“This unique and pivotal moment in the company’s history is an opportunity to seek sustainable, thoughtful growth, expanding our exhibitions and engaging beyond the four walls. I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to become a part of such a fantastic organization and I look forward to working with the talented Meow Wolf team.”

Ward, who was previously chief content officer, left the co-CEO role in 2021. He has stayed on as an advisor to Meow Wold. Meanwhile, Christensen and Rubinstein will return to their original roles as chief financial officer and chief creative officer, respectively.

“Ali, Carl and Jim have been instrumental in building Meow Wolf into a strong, strategic business for the past two years and we could not be more grateful for their leadership,” says Christopher Sobecki, chairman of Meow Wolf’s board, “We are excited for the new focus Jose will bring to the company as we continue to take Meow Wolf into new dimensions.”

Meow Wolf Las Vegas
Omega Mart, Las Vegas. Photo by Kate Russell

Meow Wolf continues to grow

Last year, Meow Wolf opened two new permanent locations. Omega Mart in Las Vegas opened to the public in February 2021 and Denver’s Convergence Station followed in September. This builds on the success of the original attraction, House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe, which has also been upgraded. In total, Meow Wolf welcomed over 1,700,000 visitors across the three locations in 2021.

It also hired more than 600 new team members last year, bringing its total employees to almost 1000. The B-Corporation is committed to making a positive change and building a more inclusive and sustainable society, through art and creativity.

“Meow Wolf’s mission continues to be inspiring creativity through art, exploration and play so that imagination can change the world,” said Rubinstein, “2021 proved this is possible and set the stage for what is to come. We are ready to create more and inspire more, and we believe Jose will guide this effort beautifully.”

“We remain a social impact art project fueling a business and a business fueling a social impact art project,” said Christensen. “As we grow, we’ll keep our eyes on this fact, and maintain this essential part of ourselves as a company by constant examination of what we are putting into the world and how it is experienced. We are thrilled to have Jose join us as we accelerate the evolution of Meow Wolf.”

People often ask the question: is Meow Wolf art? The fact that this keeps being asked is telling, Meow Wolf founder Vince Kadlubek argued recently, in an opinion piece for blooloop.

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charlotte coates

Charlotte Coates

Charlotte Coates is blooloop's editor. She is from Brighton, UK and previously worked as a librarian. She has a strong interest in arts, culture and information and graduated from the University of Sussex with a degree in English Literature. Charlotte can usually be found either with her head in a book or planning her next travel adventure.

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