Influential Leaders

Brad D. Smith

Executive Chairman of the Board, Former President and CEO, Intuit Inc.
Recognition Year(s): 2020
Area of Impact: Technology
School: Lewis College of Business, Marshall University
Location: United States

For 17 years, Brad D. Smith served Intuit in a variety of leadership roles, including holding the position of chief executive officer for 11 years. Under Smith’s leadership, Intuit was regularly recognized as one of the world’s best places to work. Intuit’s customers doubled to over 50 million, with earnings tripled and revenue continuing to increase. Smith’s expertise helped transform a North American software company into a cloud-based product and platform company with customers both local and around the globe.

Beyond his acumen as an executive leader, Smith is passionate about fostering the advancement of education and economic empowerment in his home state of West Virginia and in the surrounding Appalachia area. Smith was raised in Kenova and received his bachelor's degree from Marshall University. Today, he actively supports programs that have a lasting impact on the “place that built him.”

Throughout his efforts to uplift West Virginia, Smith has worked to encourage game-changing ideas and inspire entrepreneurs to reinvent themselves in what he calls the “overlooked zip codes” of the state. The newly established Brad D. Smith Business Incubator provides a dedicated space to student entrepreneurs at Marshall University. Accepted startups will have the opportunity to work with and learn from other committed entrepreneurs and will receive support designed to accelerate growth and success through business resources and services in the community. Resources will include physical space, capital, coaching, shared services, and networking connections.

Smith has further impacted the Marshall University and Huntington community by introducing the concept of design thinking to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. In April 2017, he was instrumental in bringing Intuit Inc. to campus for the first Innovation for Impact event—a monthlong program in which students and faculty experimented to create potential solutions for West Virginia’s most pressing problems. Selected teams traveled to Silicon Valley and San Francisco, where they received a two-day immersive experience to explore top technology companies including the headquarters of Google, Apple, Facebook, and, of course, Intuit. These students gained hands-on experience collaborating with an Intuit Design for Delight team and received additional coaching from Smith.

In partnership with his wife, Alys—an Ohio native—the Smiths established the Wing 2 Wing Foundation to support West Virginal's development through the three pillars of education, the environment, and entrepreneurship. According to Smith, 75 percent of capital investments are funneled to startups in New York, California, and Massachusetts. Throughout the entrepreneurial pillar of Wing 2 Wing, small communities like, those in West Virginia, are provided entrepreneurial resources and funding that help set a foundation for aspiring business leaders.