Tad Smith

  • President and Chief Executive Officer
New York


Tad Smith is the President and CEO of Sotheby’s. He joined Sotheby’s in March 2015 and has overseen a period of renewal and revitalization while bolstering the company’s traditional strengths. Initiatives undertaken with his leadership include advancing and expanding Sotheby’s activities and services at the high end of the fine art market, successfully increasing private sales, heightening Sotheby’s presence in the Asian market, rolling out several key digital initiatives – both internal and client facing, and adding a significant number of new buyers to the client base, many of them attracted by the company’s growing online business. During Mr. Smith’s tenure, Sotheby’s has also added a number of core capabilities to the range of services the company offers its clients including: art advisory, scientific research, e-commerce and online valuations, to name a few, as well acquisitions in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning and data.

Mr. Smith came to Sotheby’s after serving as the president and CEO of The Madison Square Garden Company, where he led the overall strategy and day-to-day operations of its iconic venues, high-profile sports teams, entertainment properties and the leading regional sports networks in the United States. He created substantial shareholder value through a number of innovations, including better capital allocation. Prior to joining The Madison Square Garden Company, Mr. Smith was President, Local Media at Cablevision Systems Corporation, where he was responsible for restoring growth to Cablevision Media Sales by launching and scaling the use of top box data, driving the company’s advanced television business to a leadership position within the industry.

Previously, Mr. Smith was the CEO of Reed Business Information, the U.S. business-to-business division for Reed Elsevier Group PLC. Before joining Reed Elsevier Group PLC, he was an internet executive at Starwood Hotels and Resorts, a corporate executive for music company BMG Entertainment, and an advisor at McKinsey & Company.

Mr. Smith holds a Masters 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 Woodrow Wilson 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 800 students since 1999.
Mr. Smith serves as a member of the board of directors for the Partnership for New York City, as well as a member of the board of advisors for the Hospital for Special Surgery and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. In 2018, Mr. Smith was appointed to the Board of Dean’s Advisors of Harvard Business School.

Founded in 1744, Sotheby's is a global company that operates at the intersection of commerce and fine art, jewelry, wines, cars, and collectibles. Sotheby’s offers collectors the resources of Sotheby’s Financial Services, the world’s only full-service art financing company, as well as the collection, artist, estate & foundation advisory services of its subsidiary, Art Agency, Partners. Sotheby’s presents private sale opportunities in more than 70 categories, including S|2, the gallery arm of Sotheby's Global Fine Art Division, and three retail businesses: Sotheby’s Wine, Sotheby’s Diamonds, and Viyet, the online marketplace for interior design. Sotheby’s has a global network of 80 offices in 40 countries and is the oldest company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (BID).

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