Barry Hearn OBE qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1970 and spent several years with a major firm of international accountants before moving into the commercial world as finance director of Kensal House Investments.
After a period in the fashion industry and property development, he became chairman of Lucania Snooker Clubs in 1974 and began to involve the snooker hall chain in amateur tournament promotions.
In 1976 Steve Davis began playing at the Romford Lucania Club and the two struck up a friendship which was to have a major influence on the world of snooker.
In 1982 Riley Leisure acquired the chain of Lucania Snooker Clubs for £3.1 million leaving Barry free to concentrate on the development of snooker, both in the UK and overseas.
With the formation of Matchroom Sport in 1982, Hearn was able to turn his abilities to developing a stable of top snooker players and ultimately produce televised events.
A long-term boxing fan, Barry moved into fight promotion in the late 1980’s and has promoted hundreds of British, European and World title fights for television over the years.
Through the 1990’s Hearn turned a number of niche sports into major TV attractions with a succession of innovative ideas. His acquisition of a majority shareholding in the PDC in 2001, saw him appointed Chairman as the company went from strength to strength.
Into the second decade of the 21st century, Barry Hearn OBE has developed Matchroom Sport into one of the world’s leading independent suppliers of quality sports programming.
Aside from Matchroom Sport, Barry is Chairman of the Professional Darts Corporation, the World Snooker Association, and WPBSA Ltd.
In late 2020, he was honoured with an OBE for services to sport in the New Year’s Honours List. Barry announced he would steps aside after almost 40 years to become President of the Group in an advisory role, dealing primarily with event strategy and global development in April 2021.
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