As a managing director in the media industry, Paul LaFontaine holds years of experience as a deal negotiator with extensive skills when it comes to leadership. He is an experienced business leader who has shown that he is able to spearhead international development, lead mergers and acquisitions, produce profitable business growth, launch new business units and open markets. His main area of expertise lies in training, assembling and leading teams to high performance.
LaFontaine’s global experience includes the development of online entertainment properties all over the world in locations such as China, India, Europe and the United States. Additionally, he has lead distributed teams in all four of these locations, as well as in Brazil and Ukraine. His history of successful merger and acquisition deals include Turkey, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom while based in Helsinki, London, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
For more than 25 years, Paul LaFontaine has built up his background of professional success by leading business teams to profitable growth. Like many other business magnates and entrepreneurs, he has utilized the expertise that he has in certain fields in order to make himself stand out amongst the competition.
He has shown that he possesses the ability to redesign leadership teams while configuring and modifying core business models for different regions. He has also proven himself able to grow companies through the creation of operations in international markets, identifying and conducting diligence on candidates for mergers and acquisitions and using social networking to advertise digital products.
With more than 25 years of professional experience, Paul LaFontaine has fashioned himself into an expert business leader with a wide variety of exceptional skills. He has served in many positions throughout this decade and a half, and through it all, he has shown that he has what it takes to find and drive success, both for his own career and for the businesses themselves.
Paul’s Educational History
In 1982, Paul LaFontaine enrolled at the respected United States Military Academy at West Point. Here he pursued his studies with a focus in engineering, graduating four years later in 1986. For his hard work and study, he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in engineering with a focus on operations research and statistics.
Paul's Military Service
After graduating from West Point in 1986, LaFontaine joined the United States Army in June of 1986 as a military intelligence officer. Here, he learned how to improve his skills and core competencies in a variety of important areas such as strategic thinking, leadership, teamwork and more.
While with the military, Paul served on a number of different intelligence assignments. He was also delegated as an officer in charge of counterintelligence, reconnaissance, force security and strategic planning. He had roles concerning tactical intelligence at both the division and battalion level. Before finishing up his military service five years later in August of 1991, LaFontaine had done time in combat service in Iraq.
Paul's Previous Work Experience
After concluding his service with the United States military, LaFontaine launched into business building in earnest in 1991. He became the area manager of his local Pizza Hut that September and set about building out a region of 12 units as the franchise transitioned its Houston market. In this position, he managed about 375 employees as well as profit and loss responsibility for more than 18 units before moving on in 1993.
After Pizza Hut, Paul LaFontaine joined Able Hydraulics in October of 1993. He worked here for a little over two years until November of 1995, during which time he was responsible for a variety of areas for this startup, which was focused on equipment services and sales. These responsibilities included overseeing profit and loss, managing finances and planning operations.
After Able Hydraulics, LaFontaine delved into positions that were heavier on business development. In December of 1995, he joined BMG Direct Marketing as their operations analyst, a position that he held until July of 1997. During this time, he had supervisory responsibility over productivity initiatives, automation and process improvement at the fourth largest direct mail facility in the country.
In August of 1997, Paul became the vice president of the interactive website CitySearch. Founded in 1995, CitySearch assists people in finding local businesses as well as promoting community unions. With this site, individuals are able to write and share reviews of their local companies in assistance to others who are looking for the best services.
During his time with CitySearch, LaFontaine gained recognition for leading the team in their rolling out of the website’s local content network as well as for establishing 25 new market operations. He did all of this while creating a team of about 340 employees in less than nine months.
In October of 2000, Paul LaFontaine left CitySearch and joined Antirion as their new CEO. Here, his core responsibilities were to oversee the management, growth and funding of a startup wireless software company with transaction, content integration and interface software.
After Antirion, he joined Ticketmaster in August of 2001 as EVP of emerging markets. He integrated four different acquired distribution business units in non-traditional categories to include access to small venues, clubs and dance venues along with parks, national monuments, conferences and museums. In 2004 he became vice president of European development for Ticketmaster.
In 2008, Paul became vice president of international development at eSolar, where he stayed until 2009 when he joined Playdom as SVP of operations. In 2010, he left to work for Disney Interactive Studios, then joined Sulake in 2011 as CEO.
Moving into his professional future, Paul LaFontaine makes it his goal to keep physically active while also participating in both volunteerism and travel. As a part of this, he plans to continue in his philanthropic work with the Wounded Warrior Project. This unique organization makes it their goal to foster successful and well adjusted members of national armed service by enlisting aid and raising awareness for the needs of those injured during their service. They do this work while keeping their focus on their core values of fun, integrity, loyalty, innovation and service.
“Having served myself, I understand the tremendous sacrifice that these warriors have made and I want to demonstrate my gratitude actively,” says LaFontaine. “I can personally make only a small contribution and hope that in doing so, I can help create a broader groundswell of support that is so deserved by the servicemen and -women who have given their all.”
Paul will also continue with his current services as the managing director at Betfair, a position he gained in January of 2013 after a year as the CEO of Sulake. Here he plans to take on the task of spreading information on how an admirable leader approaches his or her responsibilities.
As Paul LaFontaine explains, “Even with the tremendous changes in technology we have seen in recent decades, the ability to lead remains a fundamental skill in the creation of a successful team. Our ability to communicate, inspire and direct others will never be obsolete. It is a skill honed with practice over time.”