Mottola’s Marketplace: Lessons in Business from the Bronx to Bangalore
A singular figure in the entertainment industry, Tommy Mottola takes his audience backstage, around the world, and down the Bronx blocks that shaped a key principal of his business savvy: understanding the consumer. At the helm of Sony, Tommy expanded the company's reach to 66 countries and achieved breakthrough market penetration in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. In this wide-ranging talk, Tommy shares how this unprecedented undertaking had as much to do with understanding consumer behavior and marketplace fundamentals as his eye for global talents like Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, and Ricky Martin. Tommy’s success and his stories are one of a kind, but the insights and analysis of "Mottola’s Marketplace" apply to any businesses, in any industry, anywhere in the world.
As one of the most highly regarded and influential executives in the worldwide entertainment business, Thomas D. Mottola most recently served as Chairman and CEO Sony Music Entertainment. During his tenure, he transformed Sony and its 18,000 employees into the most successful global music companies in history, expanding its businesses and all of its manufacturing facilities into over 60 countries, while creating one of the strongest management teams in the industry. Moreover, he revitalized Sony Music's publishing division by making such acquisitions as the Beatles catalogue and enabled Sony to become the first major music company to make available commercial digital downloads. He is widely well-known for signing, developing, and nurturing the careers of Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, Dixie Chicks, Marc Anthony, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Harry Connick Jr., among many others.
Mr. Mottola was named President of Sony (formerly CBS Records) in 1988 at age 37, making him the youngest President in CBS history. In 1993 he was named Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment Worldwide. Under Mottola's leadership, Sony revenues skyrocketed from $800 million to over $7 billion a year, creating the largest sales in the history of the company.
Prior to joining CBS, Mr. Mottola owned and operated one of the most successful management and marketing companies in the entertainment business which launched the careers of such chart-toppers as Hall & Oates, Carly Simon, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, and Odyssey.
A renowned trendsetter, at the forefront of driving popular culture, Mr. Mottola is credited with the crossover success and global dominance of such Latin superstars as Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin, Shakira, Jennifer Lopez, and Marc Anthony which today has come to be known as “THE LATIN EXPLOSION.” He also initiated a number of highly successful co-branding strategies, including superstar Celine Dion's marketing partnership with Chrysler and her multi-year residency at the Caesar’s Palace Forum Theater in Las Vegas, as well as an unprecedented and multifaceted globalmarketing campaign with Pepsi and Sony Music which helped launch the international careers of many of Sony’s top acts.
Mottola was able to create new and successful business models that added to Sony’s bottom line, such as amphitheaters in a co-venture with PACE Concerts, as well as creating the world’s largest rock merchandising company, Sony Signatures, which today are all part of Live Nation Entertainment.
In 2003, Mottola founded The Mottola Company, a multi-media and communications organization whose diverse portfolio, in addition to recorded music, includes ownership of intellectual properties in the areas of music publishing, television production, early child development, theater, and fashion; alongside a branding, consultation, and management company working with such clients as General Motors, Kraft Foods Inc., AT&T, Proctor & Gamble, Hershey’s Food Corp., Amtrak, and Burger King. In terms of management the company has most recently directed the careers of such artists as: Usher, whose “Confessions” release has sold over 20 million copies to date, Grammy winner and Latin pop star Marc Anthony, and British breakthrough and best new artist of 2007, MIKA with a debut of over 7 million units sold.
Known also for his philanthropic and mentoring activities, Mr. Mottola currently serves on the board of O.N.E. coconut water, which is the fastest growing beverage sector in the U.S. He has served on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the Police Athletic League, T.J. Martell Foundation for Cancer, Leukemia and AIDS Research, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation and Museum, as well as being an annual sponsor of the National Fraternal Order of Police Foundation’s Peace Memorial and supporter of the New York City Police Foundation and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.