IMG Artists mourns first boss

IMG Artists mourns first boss


norman lebrecht

August 09, 2021

Then IMG veteran Peter Smith, appointed by Mark McCormack to apply managerial discipline to his fledgling artists agency, has died after a 50-year career with the same company.

On graduating from the University of Wales, Peter wrote a job application to Mark McCormack and became his fifth employee in January 1971.

After Mark McCormack acquired Hamlen/Landau Management in 1984, he appointed Peter Smith to oversee its operations, a task he performed until the agency was sold to Barrett Wissman (pictured) in 2013. The parent company was then sold and renamed Endeavor. It is headed by Rahm Emanuel’s brother Ari Emanuel.


  • Nick2 says:

    I think your comments about Peter Smith are not wholly accurate. He may well have been appointed to oversee the acquisition of Hamlen/Landau and its first year or two of operation in America under the new regime. But when it started to expand internationally very quickly it was John Webber, also very close to McCormack and who ran Corporate Finance from the London office, who was the one given the task of oversight of the entire worldwide Artists operation.

    Peter Smith was then running IMG’s very successful sports television enterprise, Trans World International. He was certainly kept involved in major decisions and even toured occasionally with one or two of the top artists. I recall he told me of flying to Japan once with Itzhak Perlman when he could get virtually no sleep because the maestro kept telling joke after joke!

    There seemed to be a very small consortium of ultimate decision makers in IMG Artists of which Smith would have been one. But I am certain it was Webber who had the overall responsibility for the department.

    • Simon says:

      You’re 100% correct Nick2. Would be great if Slipped did a little research on these matters. Email or call around quickly to get the facts rights. And why continue to post that photo of Wissman and that Russian guy – over and over and over and……?