Richard Peddie

Best Selling Author, Speaker, Consultant & Former CEO of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment

Richard Peddie

Richard Peddie's entire life has been about leading with strong core values and creating enterprise value.

Whether it was as 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 practicing strong core 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 of 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 a NBA franchise for 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

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, launching Leafs tv, Raptors tv and buying Golf tv; to bringing Major League Soccer to Canada and launching TFC;  to building the $500 million dollar 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: excite every fan, inspire our people, dedicated to our teams and by 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 business where he helps the school successfully create 21st Century Leaders. He is on the board of Alarm Force Security systems and The Toronto Foundation. With his wife Colleen, they have a Foundation aimed at helping intercity youth. He has published a best selling book on leadership entitled "Dream Job" and his second book "21 Leadership Lessons" is available in stores and in Ebooks now. 

  1. 21 Leadership Lessons: Successes, Failures, and Discoveries from a Life in Business and Sports

    Richard shares the twenty-one most important lessons he learned–and sometimes relearned–in his storied career. 21 Leadership Lessons contains a lifetime of business wisdom, serving as a inspiration for the next generation of business leaders, and a valuable refresher for those more experienced. Richard presents some candid personal stories of successes and discoveries, major challenges, and even failures. He offers worldly business advice for young, aspiring leaders–from the corporate sector, the sports world, as well as from the government and not-for-profit sectors. In this presentation, Richard covers a wide range of topics, including: the importance of vision and values, the need for contrary thinkers. leading with an edge, the need to say thank you–often, how to be a complete coach, and much more.

  2. Dream Job

    Dream Job takes audiences behind the scenes of MLSE and introduces us to Richard Peddie. Entrepreneurs will be keen to learn how a working class kid from Windsor who barely made it into university managed to reach the top of virtually every organization he ever worked for.  Business leaders and organizations will be interested in his lessons learned in building one of the most successful organizations in its industry.  Hockey, basketball and soccer fans will warm to the many stories that Richard has to tell in his fascinating and hard-hitting presentations.

He was an absolute pleasure to work with – easily accessible, quick to respond, agreeable, flexible and a dream with the audience both before and after his presentation.
Events Manager, Food & Consumer Products of Canada

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