Jared Smith is stepping down as global chairman of Ticketmaster at the end of 2020, according to multiple reports. The longtime Ticketmaster President was named global chairman earlier this year. Sportico first reported the move, which it says will help the company bring in new leadership to shape its post-COVID plans.
“The company deserves to have the person who’s going to be here long-term making the decisions right now of what it should look like,” he told the publication.
Smith has been with Ticketmaster since 2003, working his way up from a start an entry level sales job in Alabama. In less than ten years, he was named COO of Ticketmaster following its merger with Live Nation in 2010. Three years later, he was named President of the company’s North America operations. This summer, Smith was named global chairman of Ticketmaster, with Mark Yovich promoted to global president and Amy Howe to COO in the same set of moves.
It is unclear whether anyone will be promoted to the global chairman position that Smith’s departure will leave open, or if the existing suite of executives will remain in their current positions.
Smith’s departure comes amid a time of unprecedented peril for the entire ticketing and live events industry, as the COVID-19 pandemic has left performers, teams, and venue operators largely without the ability to play in front of any significant crowds since March. Ticketmaster and parent company Live Nation Entertainment have had to enact several cost-saving measures including waves of furloughs and layoffs, to stay solvent while events are on hold. It was out of this “right-sizing” movement that the conversation began regarding Smith’s remaining with the company.
“It was a very healthy back and forth,” Smith said. “We decided that this might be the right moment to put that succession plan in place, and let those guys figure out how they want to run the company moving forward.”
Smith, 42, told Sportico he is unsure of his next step in his career.
“I owe my entire career to sports and entertainment,” he said. “I love the business, the people, the dynamic relationship between the consumer and the product. As I evaluate opportunities, whether it’s within or outside the live event industry, the most important thing to me is finding an opportunity with great growth potential that leverages my experience of building innovative products, high performing teams and operating at real scale.”