The Shubert Organization's board of directors convened Dec. 2 to select its new leader.
Smith was also named Chairman of the Board of The Shubert Foundation and The Shubert Organization. Wankel was elected a member of the Board of Directors of The Shubert Foundation and The Shubert Organization and was named President of The Shubert Organization.
Smith and Wankel succeed Gerald Schoenfeld, the company's late Chairman who died Nov. 25 in his Manhattan home at the age of 84. Schoenfeld, a man routinely referred to as the most powerful man on Broadway, had held that position for over three decades.
Michael I. Sovern, President of The Shubert Foundation, said in a statement, "While Jerry Schoenfeld is not replaceable, we are confident that these new appointments will ensure the critical role of The Shubert Foundation in supporting nonprofit performing arts in America and the continued successes of the Shubert Organization in the professional theatre."
Philip J. Smith, who began his career as a box-office treasurer, served as President of The Shubert Organization from 1996-2008. He currently sits on the Executive Committee of the Board of Governors and on the Tony Awards Administration Committee of the Broadway League. He is an active Board member for The Actors' Fund and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Smith also currently serves as the 1st Vice President of The Actors Fund. He is a member of the Knights of Malta and the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Robert E. Wankel, who has been with the Shuberts for over three decades, has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of The Shubert Organization, Inc. and Chief Financial Officer of The Shubert Foundation, Inc. He is a member of the Executive Committees and Board of Governors of The Broadway League and the Times Square Alliance. He is Chairman Emeritus and Trustee of the Board of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts as well as an Officer and Director of The Actors Studio.
The Shubert Organization's 17 Broadway houses include the Ambassador, Belasco, Bernard B. Jacobs, Booth, Broadhurst, Broadway, Cort, Ethel Barrymore, Gerald Schoenfeld, Imperial, John Golden, Longacre, Lyceum, Majestic, Music Box, Shubert and Winter Garden. The company also owns the Shubert Theatre in Boston, the Forrest Theatre in Philadelphia and Off-Broadway's Little Shubert Theatre and manages the National Theatre in Washington, D.C.
The mission of The Shubert Foundation, which was established in 1945 by Lee and J.J. Shubert in memory of their brother Sam, is to "sustain and advance the live performing arts, in particular the American theatre, by supporting not-for-profit, producing theatre companies, as well as dance companies and other arts-related institutions that assist in the development of the theatre."
For more information visit www.shubertorganization.com.