Former President and CEO
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment Ltd.
A graduate of the University of Windsor Business Faculty, Peddie spent forty-one years working in corporate Canada. The first nineteen years were spent on consumer products with Colgate, General Foods and Pillsbury. His first presidency was at Hostess Food Products, a division of General Foods. He then moved on to be President and CEO of Pillsbury – Green Giant. During his tenure at Pillsbury the company recorded record growth and was recognized as one of “Canada’s 100 Best Companies” by the Financial Post. He also received the “Donald B. McCaskill Award for Marketing Excellence” for his results at Pillsbury.
In 1989 he moved into the sports and entertainment business as President and CEO of Toronto’s multi-use Stadium Corporation of Ontario (SkyDome). During his four years at SkyDome he helped host more than 1,000 events and entertained more than 29 million guests. During his time there the facility was chosen “Stadium of the Year” four consecutive years by the sports and entertainment industry and in 1992 Peddie was honoured as “North American Facility Manager of the Year”.
After a failed attempt to land an NBA franchise he joined NetStar Communications (formerly Labatt Communications) as President and COO. In July 1995 Peddie was one of the key individuals in a management-led consortium that purchased the company.
In 1996 Peddie realized a dream he had since university when he was appointed President and CEO of the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club. The Toronto Maple Leaf purchased the Raptors in 1998 and created Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE).
Over the next fourteen years Peddie lead a major MLSE growth strategy that saw enterprise value increase over six times to two billion dollars. Today MLSE has four professional sports franchises (Maple Leafs, Raptors, Toronto FC, Marlies), three specialty television channels, six restaurants and operates numerous entertainment facilities including the mixed retail, hotel and residential, five hundred million dollar, Maple Leaf Square. From a merger of two franchises, today MLSE is arguably one of the most profitable sports and entertainment companies in the world.
Over almost his entire career, Peddie has successfully used vision and values as a way to achieve success with customers, partners, employees and financial results. Today he is Leader-In-Residence at the University of Windsor writing a book on how he successfully deployed vision and values during most of his 28 years as a president.
A native of Windsor, Ontario Peddie graduated from the University of Windsor in 1970 and received an honourary doctorate from the institution in 2001. Upon his retirement at MLSE in December 2011, almost eight hundred thousand dollars was raised to create the Richard Peddie Leadership Initiative at the Odette School of Business at the University.