Greg Blatt: A Perfect Match
As the CEO of Match.com, Greg Blatt ’95 has hit his stride thanks
to a decade working with media moguls such as Martha Stewart
and Barry Diller
Greg Blatt ’95, the CEO of Match.com, was less than four years out of law school when Martha Stewart asked him to take her company public. The year was 1999, and he was a junior associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz. Stewart’s confidence in Blatt was largely based on one simple principle: “She trusted me,” Blatt says. He’d worked on a transaction for her when he was a first-year associate, and the senior associate on the deal was often occupied on other deals. “There was a lot of time when I pretty much handled the transaction by myself,” he recalls.
When she decided to take her company public in 1999, Stewart approached Blatt and offered him the general counsel title at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. “It was an easy decision to join,” he notes. The choice would be the first in a series of moves that eventually led to his emersion into the world of internet-based companies.
The next step came nearly five years later, when Blatt met with Barry Diller, who suggested he become the senior vice president, general counsel, and secretary of IAC/InterActiveCorp. At the time, IAC was a $25 million market capital company
and owned subsidiaries that ranged from Expedia and Hotels.com to Match.com, Ticketmaster and the Home Shopping Network (HSN). Less than two years into his time at IAC, Blatt helped the company spin off its travel businesses to form
His ability to handle such complicated deals is, in part, thanks to skills he gained during his time at Columbia Law School. “It transformed how my brain works and converted me into a disciplined thinker,” he says. “It’s like boot camp, and it trains you think in a critical way.”
Even early on, Match.com fascinated Blatt. “I always thought Match.com was an ideal application of the internet,” he explains. With classified ads serving as the most comparable alternative for those seeking romantic relationships, Blatt saw that Match.com filled a market need. Diller, who knew of Blatt’s interest in the company, offered him the CEO position at Match.com earlier this year.
In describing all of his career shifts over the past decade, the only difficult decision the Boston native recalls was the need to relocate. “Match.com is based in Dallas, so I wrestled with that a little bit,” Blatt admits. At the end of the day, however, he was convinced by the company’s potential.
“I knew a lot of people who had successfully met people on Match.com, and I had a ton of friends who should have been using Match but did not,” Blatt says. “There was this notion that something should change and would change. And at the end of the day, we’re trying to help people achieve something. You can throw a lot of bells and whistles around it, but we focus on bringing people together.”