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Tad Smith was most recently the President and CEO of Sotheby’s from March 2015 until he sold it in 2019. Founded in 1744, Sotheby’s is a global company that operates at the intersection of commerce and fine art, jewelry, and collectibles. After repositioning the company’s strategy and reinventing Sotheby’s digitally, Tad sold the famous company for $3.7 billion, which was 17.7x EBITDA and a 61% premium over the prior day’s trading price.
Mr. Smith went to Sotheby’s from another publicly-held company, The Madison Square Garden Company, where he also served as President and CEO. He led MSG in overall strategy and day-to-day operations for its iconic venues including “the world’s most famous arena” and Radio City Music Hall in New York, the “Fabulous” Forum in Los Angeles, the Wang Theatre in Boston and the Chicago Theatre; MSG’s high-profile sports teams including the New York Knicks, Rangers and Liberty, and the Hartford Wolf Pack,; entertainment properties such as the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and the New York Spring Spectacular both featuring the world famous Rockettes; and the leading regional sports networks in the United States (MSG and MSG+).
Prior to joining Madison Square Garden Company, Mr. Smith was President, Local Media at Cablevision Systems Corporation, where his responsibilities ranged from overseeing and growing News 12 Networks (the tri-state area leader in local cable news), to the leading daily newspapers Newsday on Long Island, and amNewYork, the widely circulated free daily. He was also responsible for restoring growth to Cablevision Media Sales by launching and scaling the use of set top box data to drive the company’s advanced television business to a leadership position within the industry.
Previously, Mr. Smith was at Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a worldwide provider of business information, where he was most recently CEO of its U.S. business-to-business division, Reed Business Information (RBI). He had responsibility there for Variety, Interior Design, Publishers Weekly, Multichannel News, Reed Construction Data, BuyerZone and many other print, data, and internet businesses. Before joining Reed Elsevier in 2000, he was an Internet executive at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, a corporate executive in New York and London for music company BMG Entertainment, and an advisor to companies on strategy and performance improvement in McKinsey & Company’s Los Angeles office. He began his career out of college at JP Morgan & Company and then the Rockefeller Foundation, and he was also the former chief of staff of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission.
Mr. Smith received a Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School where he was a George F. Baker Scholar and a Horace W. Goldsmith Fellow. He received a Bachelor of Arts from Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, where he received the R.W. Van de Velde Award. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he has taught the popular course Strategy and Finance for Entertainment, Media, and Technology Companies to more than 1,200 students since 1999. He serves on numerous industry and nonprofit boards and advisory boards. Mr. Smith resides in Palm Beach, Florida and has an apartment in New York City.
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