Peter Thompson pivots in business
October 4th, 2016
Peter Thompson has been named a top executive at InnerWorkings, a publicly traded marketing firm based in Chicago and co-founded by Chicago billionaire Eric Lefkofsky.
As chief commercial officer, Thompson will lead the company’s global sales and marketing efforts.
It’s a big change for Thompson, after working 25 years in the financial services world, but he says he’s eager for the challenge. “It’s good to be stretching my professional legs. I’m really excited about helping lead the growth of the company with sales,” he told me.
A nephew of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, Thompson is a notable businessman around town having previously served as CEO of Perkins Investment Management firm–a company that grew from $8.9 billion to $22 billion. He left that company a year and a half ago and worked on his on as a consultant. It was rewarding but he missed working with a team, he says.
InnerWorkings CEO Eric Belcher praised Thompson for having “a successful track record of collaborating with CEOs and management teams across the Fortune 500″ companies. InnerWorkings executes print, direct mail, indoor displays, signage and marketing initiatives for companies.
Thompson previously had top-executive jobs at Chicago Asset Management Company and Ariel Capital Management, where he helped build Ariel’s asset base grow from $2 billion to more than $21 billion, according to a release.
Thompson is the son of Patricia Daley Martino, she’s the oldest child of the late former Mayor Richard J. Daley and his wife, Eleanor “Sis” Daley. Thompson’s dad is the late William Paul Thompson, a developer whose father was a Chicago Police officer.
Thompson grew up next to his grandparents in Bridgeport and in the heart of the family business–government and politics.
As exciting as it was, he says, he wasn’t interested in making a career of politics. “I’m leaving that to my brother,” he said, referring to 11th Ward Alderman Patrick Thompson.
Peter Thompson graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep, where he played basketball and came to know fellow student Mellody Hobson, now president of Ariel Investments. She recruited him to work at Ariel after he graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island and earned an MBA from University of Chicago.
When he’s not working, Thompson serves on nonprofit boards for University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Providence College and the WGA/Evans Scholars Foundation. He’s also a dad to five children with his wife, Michelle.