Olivier Smit

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 10

I was referred to THNK by Eduard Burer.



I can be characterized as open minded, inquisitive and passionate about life. My diverse educational background is characteristic for my intellectual curiosity and wide interest. I am driven by the desire to learn and develop myself and others. My educational background encompasses sport and physical education, hospitality management, business economics and an executive scholarship at the Kellogg School of Management.


I have brought mt eagerness to learn and explore into practice by 'riding the waves of culture’ in reality. Throughout my career I have worked overseas as an expat in various jobs and in various cities where I got to learn and experience many different views on (business) cultures. I currently live in Amsterdam.


I am driven by making a change in the things I do. I have a strong belief in the potential of people and teams as one of the main drivers for success. I have a diverse track record in increasing organizational results through major commercial (marketing, sales & communication) programs across Europe and the Americas. I am a strategic business builder with a hands-on and can do mentality and high-energy level.


I started my career as E-commerce Manager at the HILTON Hotels Corporation in Beverly Hills (USA) in 2000, and in 2002 I entered the world of banking and started my ABN AMRO traineeship. After two years I stepped up to Marketing Manager Digital Channels and moved up to to Group Sponsorship Manager where I managed and implemented global (sport) marketing and communication platforms.


After several years I became Vice President of Brand & Marketing Communications in Chicago where I also served as the liaison between HQ (NL) and US branches. During my stay in Chicago I also played a role in the disentanglement of LaSalle Bank towards Bank of America and the integration of ABN AMRO Wholesale into Royal Bank of Scotland. In 2008 I was Head of Sponsoring Americas for Royal Bank of Scotland where I planned and directed sport sponsorship activities in North and South America.


After many years driving shareholders value, I was looking to make a more meaningful impact and joined UNICEF as Director Marketing, Fundraising & Communications. During these five years I led the strategic and commercial planning and managed a major change program to transform the organization into a market-focused entity to establish a solid framework for future endeavors. Across this period I further shaped my vision on shared value creation, which is now one of my key strategic pillars in doing business.


I joined JWT Amsterdam (agency) in 2014 as Deputy Managing Director where I was responsible for clients and innovation.

I currently work at the KNSB as Chief Commercial Officer where I combine my passion for sport in combination with change management and realizing commercial and social impact. As a member of the managing board I oversee the commercial activities. I am responsible for the commercial strategy, development and execution of partnerships, marketing, sales, international affairs, subsidies and communication.