Dayton is the chief executive officer and a director of SK-EarthLink, a joint venture of EarthLink and SK Telecom and the founder and a director of EarthLink.
Dayton was introduced to technology in 1980 when he was nine years old, by his grandfather, an IBM Fellow. He graduated from the Delphian School, a private boarding high school, in 1988 and decided to forgo college to pursue his interests in technology.
Immediately after high school, Dayton spent two years managing the computer graphics departments of two advertising firms. In 1990, he cofounded the popular Café Mocha coffeehouse in West Hollywood. In 1992, while continuing to manage the coffeehouse, he cofounded Dayton Walker Design, a computer graphics boutique catering to the entertainment industry.
In 1993, Dayton heard about the Internet and decided to get connected. After spending 80 frustrating hours attempting to configure his computer for internet access, he concluded there must be a better way--EarthLink was born. Dayton's vision was that the Internet would be the next mass medium, and EarthLink was how the mass market would connect to it.
EarthLink has grown to become one of the nation's leading Internet service providers, with more than five million customers and over $1 billion in annual revenue.
In June of 1999, Dayton joined with former Disney Internet chief Jake Winebaum to found eCompanies, an internet incubator and venture fund that helped launch several successful companies, including JAMDAT Mobile (Nasdaq: JMDT) and Business.com, and now serves as a holding company for these investments.
Dayton is the founder and non-executive chairman of Boingo Wireless, a company he started in 2001 to solve the fragmentation problem inherent in wi-fi networks. Boingo aggregates thousands of wi-fi "hot spots" around the world into a single system for major carriers.
Dayton became CEO of SK-EarthLink upon the company's launch in 2005.
Dayton has received numerous awards and honors, including being named to Business Week's top seven entrepreneurs and being chosen as USC's entrepreneur of the year. He has been featured in Fortune, Forbes, Wired, The Wall Street Journal, and on CNBC, CNN, and many other media.
Dayton also serves on the boards of Business.com, NeoPets, and on the advisory board of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
An avid surfer and snowboarder, Dayton resides in Santa Monica, California with his wife, novelist Arwen Elys Dayton, and their three young children.