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Volume 20 No. 42
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Forty Under 40

One of Nathan Hubbard’s first meetings as CEO of Ticketmaster two years ago was with key players from a Dallas triumvirate: American Airlines Center and its two major tenants, the Mavericks and Stars. A former singer-songwriter who had helped remake the way Live Nation sold concert tickets, Hubbard showed up armed with ideas for how Ticketmaster could better serve its sports clients.

“It was not a good meeting,” Hubbard said, reflecting on his baptism into sports. “I learned through trial by fire some of the baggage that came with how our company had connected with sports teams. We were having the wrong conversation. We weren’t talking about all the things Ticketmaster could do. We were in a provincial, siloed conversation.

“That really had a deep and profound impact not just on how we talk about our company but on the things we focused on.”

Addressing the concerns he heard, Hubbard focused future conversations on Ticketmaster’s role as a data provider that could use its scope to help teams set prices and craft strategy. Long a company that dealt mostly with the box office rather than the sales staff, Ticketmaster has spent the last year convincing clients that it could help them sell. That resonated during a road show last year in which he met with clients across the country. In one session, one of the Dallas executives told the group that he didn’t believe a word Hubbard said during their first meeting and had expected his disdain for the ticketing giant to continue.

“Then he said, ‘Here I am. You delivered and I believe,’” Hubbard said. “That was a massive pivot and a great moment for us.”

Age: 35
Title: CEO
COMPANY: Ticketmaster
Education: B.A., politics, Princeton University, 1997; MBA, Stanford University, 2004
Family: Wife, Lindsay; daughters Hailey and Tess; son, Jackson
Career: CEO of e-commerce and ticketing platform Musictoday when it was purchased by Live Nation in 2006; named president of Live Nation Ticketing in 2007; promoted to CEO of Live Nation Ticketing in 2008; named CEO of Ticketmaster after it merged with Live Nation in 2010.
First job: Self-employed as a singer and songwriter
Last vacation: Mammoth Mountain, skiing
what's on your ipod? Bon Iver and Ingrid Michaelson
guilty pleasure: Howard Stern
best stress release: Running
pet peeve: Straws
fantasy job: Owner of a restaurant and music club
what keeps you awake at night? The responsibility of feeding 3,000 families
business advice: Know thyself and be prepared to take a different, highly risky road to find the right spot for who you are.