Dr. RICHARD PEDDIE
Best Selling Author, Speaker, Director, City Builder
Richard Peddie’s entire life has been about leading with strong core values, building enterprise value, creating excellent places to work, and championing healthy and livable communities.
Whether it was president of Hostess, Pillsbury, SkyDome, NetStar, or Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, he always delivered tremendous financial value to those companies by having a clear leadership vision and consistently living strong corporate values.
A graduate of the University of Windsor Business School (today the Odette School of Business), he joined Colgate in sales and marketing. He then moved on to General Foods (today Kraft Foods), where he moved rapidly through their marketing department and became a Vice President at 29 years of age. He then became president of GF’s Hostess Foods division. In 1985, he left Hostess to become the President and CEO of Pillsbury Canada where during his tenure the company generated record growth and was recognized as one of Canada’s “100 Best Companies”. Peddie also received the Donald B. McCaskill award for Marketing Excellence in Canada for his successful marketing strategies and strong business results while at Pillsbury.
In 1989, after 19 years in consumer products, Peddie accepted the position of President and CEO for the SkyDome (today the Rogers Centre). During his four years there, he helped host more than 1000 events and entertain almost 30 million guests. SkyDome was chosen as the North American Stadium of the Year four consecutive years, and Peddie was honoured as the North American Facility Manager of the Year in 1992. While at SkyDome, Peddie teamed up with Larry Tanenbaum and applied for an NBA franchise in Toronto. Their application resulted in the NBA coming to Canada, but they lost out on their bid for the franchise to a competing group.
Peddie then became the president and COO of NetStar Communications (TSN, RDS, Discovery Channel). In July 1995, he was one of the key individuals in a management-led consortium that purchased the company. While at NetStar, he launched Canada’s first sports website, TSN.ca.
In late 1996, Peddie was named as the President and CEO of the Toronto Raptors, thus fulfilling a dream to one day run a basketball team. A dream that he first had while at the University of Windsor in the late sixties. In 1998, the Maple Leafs bought the Raptors and created Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, with Peddie as the President and CEO.
Richard was President and CEO of MLSE for fourteen very busy years. From building Air Canada Centre and BMO Field; launching Leafs TV, Raptors TV, and buying Gol TV; to bringing Major League Soccer to Canada and launching Toronto FC; to building the $500 million Maple Leaf Square; Peddie helped grow the company from an enterprise value of $300 million to $2 billion. He did this by consistently practicing 4 core values: exciting every fan, inspiring our people, being dedicated to our teams, and being leaders in the community.
A proud native of Windsor, Peddie graduated from the University of Windsor in 1970 and received an honorary doctorate from the institution in 2001. Today, Dr. Peddie is actively involved in the Richard Peddie Leadership Initiative at the Odette School of Buisness, where he helps the school successfully create 21st Century Leaders. He is also very focused on city building. He actively speaks out on making a better Toronto on his website https://www.forabettertoronto.ca. He and his wife colleen have their own Peddie Foundation aimed at assisting city youth.
Peddie has published a best-selling autobioraphy entitled “Dream Job”, and that was followed up by a second book “21 Leadership Lessons”.
Becoming a great leader, whether at the corporate or community level, has been a life-long objective for Richard. Recently being inducted into the American Marketing Association Hall of Legends as a Mentor is recognition that he has achieved that goal.