Robert F. Smith is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. He directs Vista’s investment strategy and decisions, firm governance, and investor relations. Vista currently manages equity capital commitments of over $31 billion and oversees a portfolio of over 50 software companies that employ over 55,000 people worldwide. Since Vista’s founding in 2000, Mr. Smith has overseen over 350 completed transactions by the firm representing over $100 billion in transaction value.
In 2017, Smith was named by Forbes as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds. Previously, Smith worked for Goldman Sachs in Tech M&A and Kraft General Foods, where he earned four patents. Smith is the first African-American to sign on to the Giving Pledge. His gift of $20 million was the largest by an individual donor to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Smith serves as the Chairman of Carnegie Hall, founding director and President of the Fund II Foundation, and Chairman of Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights.
Smith earned his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, which in January 2016, honored Mr. Smith’s leadership by naming the Robert Fredrick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Smith also received his MBA with honors from Columbia Business School. Smith was born in Denver, Colorado, the son of two PdD educators who instilled in him an appreciation for the power of learning and the moral obligation we all share to apply our unique skills to change society for the better.
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