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Volume 22 No. 27
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Neda Tabatabaie, San Jose Sharks

Photo: Brandon Magnus-Ledesma

Neda Tabatabaie

Vice President, Business Analytics and Technology, San Jose Sharks

Born: Tehran, Iran

Education: University of Toronto, B.A., economics

Only recently during a Habitat For Humanity outing did San Jose Sharks executive Neda Tabatabaie discover that she has a knack for carpentry. She has an idea for a possible first project: a doghouse for her French bulldog, Bob Dylan.

 

Tabatabaie already has at least one significant build on her résumé. She left Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in 2015 and joined the Sharks, where she assumed a specifically created role and commenced the creation of a data analytics program from scratch. The Sharks’ “data journey,” to use Tabatabaie’s term, resulted in an increasingly data-receptive culture and better data-backed decision-making, specifically a successful dynamic ticket pricing undertaking that’s expanded the team’s fan base.

“Data is great,” Tabatabaie said, “but you always need a person to provide context and make a decision that is right for the organization, and our fans. So you have to become more mature in it.”

Tabatabaie helped launch the Sharks Women’s Network, a candid, monthly networking and professional development luncheon for the organization’s female employees. 

Growing beyond the NHL club and into the community, the Women’s Network held a businesswear clothing drive for women with upcoming job interviews. Tabatabaie also began the Women of Teal program, an extension of the Women’s Network for the wider Bay Area. — Bret McCormick

Getting to know...

Favorite day-off activity: Hanging out with my Frenchie Bob Dylan. I also love traveling and do my best to travel outside of North America once a year. I’m filling out this questionnaire while on a beach in Cefalu (Sicily).

Guilty pleasure: I love watching the reruns of “M*A*S*H.” Although I never feel guilty about my pleasures!

Attributes I look for when hiring: Attitude and energy.

Misperception of working in sports business: That you see the players all the time! We are each doing our jobs and, at least in my case, there’s no overlap. They are doing their job on the ice and I’m doing my job in the office.

Woman in sports business you’d like to meet:I’d love to meet Bozoma Saint John (current CMO of Endeavor and former CMO of Uber). I think she is a force of nature, so authentic to who she is and has broken a lot of “rules” that were traditionally dictated to women about how they should look, dress and be.