Anyone who is looking to be successful in the world of business needs an influential mentor or a network of mentors. Choosing who you can learn from is essential for your professional development. Gregory R. Blatt (Greg Blatt) is an excellent example of how his experience working with successful business professionals helped him in his career. Blatt worked as the Chief Executive Officer of top companies, including Match Group, IAC, and Tinder.
However, after college, Mr. Blatt had no idea what he wanted to do, and he spent a number of years bartending and bussing tables in ski towns. He later attended Columbia Law School, not because he was passionate about law, but because he thought he would be good at it.
He then went to work for Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz (1995 to 1997) and Grubman Indursky & Schindler (from 1997 to May 1999) as an associate after graduating. During his four years at the two law firms in New York, Mr. Blatt gained a lot of incredible experiences but later concluded that working as an associate was not for him.
Working with Martha Stewart
Fortunately, one of his clients, Martha Stewart, who later became one of his primary mentors, gave him an opportunity that paved the way for all that came after. Martha Stewart first met Mr. Blatt when he was working at Wachtell Lipton, and she was impressed by his confidence and knowledge. The relationship he established with her is what led to him moving to Grubman Indursky & Schindler (her regular law firm).
In 1999, when Stewart was taking her company public (Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia), she offered Mr. Blatt the opportunity to join the company and guide it through the going public process. Over the course of the four and a half years that Greg Blatt was at the company, he moved up the ranks and was eventually given the title of Executive Vice President for Business Affairs.
His role involved overseeing all the transactions of the company from a business perspective, including licensing deals, mergers & acquisitions, among other partnerships both locally and internationally. Mr. Blatt gained a lot from working with Martha Stewart since she had the ability to identify business opportunities where others saw none.
She was also tenacious when it came to pursuing them. Greg Blatt learned to be relentless in the pursuit of excellence, and he carried this lesson with him for the rest of his profession.
Working With Barry Diller, IAC
In 2003, Blatt got another opportunity to work at IAC as EVP, General Counsel of the company. IAC was run and managed by Barry Diller, and it had acquired several online businesses, including Match.com, Expedia, HSN, and Ticketmaster.
- Diller was the serial executive who had a reputation in leading several notable media firms, including Fox and Paramount Picture. He was also well known for mentoring individuals who were serving under him to great success. His mentees went on to become heads at companies like Columbia, DreamWorks, and Disney, and hence, Blatt looked forward to working with him for further career guidance.
Diller gave Greg Blatt significant roles in making strategic and operating decisions; hence, Blatt was able to watch him closely and emulate the aspects in his approach that made Diller successful. Eventually, Diller made Gregory Blatt the Chief Executive Officer of IAC’s Match.com unit.
As a CEO, Blatt utilized Stewart’s and Diller’s approaches and was able to identify business opportunities in places that no one expected. He was able to reinvent the company’s dating unit significantly, and he later launched an IPO of Match in 2015. He also became the Chief Executive Officer of Tinder from December 2016, in addition to managing Match Group.