The changes are part of a top down shift to combine Ticketmaster's North American and international business operations into a single entity. Last year the company's international division sold 115 million tickets and sees "tremendous opportunity for continued growth on a global basis, particularly in the 15 markets where we promote concerts but do not yet have a substantial ticketing operation," according to the company's 2019 earnings report.
The company's recent entry into Taiwan and Singapore "highlights this international expansion opportunity, building on our concerts position in these markets, and growing our ticketing presence to seven countries in Asia as we continue to build out our flywheel across more of our markets," the report explains.
The shift comes as the live business faces its most severe crisis in history due to the spread of COVID-19, causing a 98% drop in revenue for Ticketmaster's parent company Live Nation. The global shutdown has lead to layoffs and furloughs at Ticketmaster, Live Nation and nearly all concert promotion, ticketing and music companies in the touring business. Company leaders are optimistic about a 2021 recovery with chief executive Michael Rapino revealing on a recent earnings call that fans held on to tickets for 86 percent of rescheduled tours instead of requesting a refund.
Smith, who joined the company in 203, was named president of Ticketmaster North America in December 2012 after serving as chief operating officer. Yovich has been president of Ticketmaster international since November 2011 and previously served as executive vp and general manager of ecommerce international. Howe has served as president and chief operating officer for Ticketmaster since 2019 and previously worked as the the company's chief strategy officer.