Hello, I'm Kelly Smith

Chief Digital Officer, Chief Product Officer, Digital Transformation Engineering Leader

I recruit, develop and lead top-tier product and engineering teams that drive digital transformation and, ultimately, business results.

I have experience in several industries: technology start-ups, e-commerce, retail, food & beverage, hospitality, automotive & insurance. Specifically, I help to identify and advance commercial opportunities for firms at the intersection of a changing global marketplace, dealing with shifts in the geopolitical landscape and rapidly evolving technology.

Kelly Smith speaking at Adobe

From entrepreneurship to Fortune 100

Leveraging 25 years of experience, I've founded companies and worked at Fortune 100 companies. As a hands-on technology leader, I am proud that each and every day, millions of people use products I've helped to build.

Latest press

Q&A with Kelly Smith, startup founder and ex-Starbucks VP leading digital transformation at car company Hagerty

Geekwire Q&A with Kelly Smith, startup founder and ex-Starbucks VP leading digital transformation at car company Hagerty

Leading Product, Engineering, Design, IT at Hagerty

You may know us as the global leader in classic car insurance but we’ve long since moved beyond insurance to offer so much more. I lead a team of 250 that is developing some of the most innovative experiences for automotive enthusiasts - both online and physical.

Kelly Smith leading digital teams at Hagerty

Digital transformation for the classic car industry

Hagerty is the leading insurer and membership program for classic car enthusiasts. I developed the digital team and led the launch of a wide range of new software products to fan the flames of the car hobby.

I led the efforts to bring in new design language, frameworks, technologies and team product culture, which helped to provide the basis for massive growth.

We launched everything from new websites, mobile apps, marketplaces, e-commerce, media sites, digital labs and so much more.

Hagerty Homepage Screenshot
Hagerty Marketplace Screenshot
Image of vehicle listing on Hagerty Marketplace
Hagerty Drivers Club homepage
Hagerty Valuation Tools homepage
Hagerty Media Screenshot: Barn Find Hunter
Hagerty Experiences, Clubs, Events
Hagerty Agents Homepage
Hagerty Labs Homepage
Hagerty mobile app in the App Store

Chief Digital Officer, MGM Resorts

Based in Las Vegas NV, MGM Resorts International is a $19 billion global entertainment company featuring best-in-class hotels and casinos, state-of-the-art meetings and conference spaces, incredible live and theatrical entertainment experiences, and an extensive array of restaurant, nightlife and retail offerings. MGM has 80,000 employees and is recognized as one of FORTUNE® Magazine's World's Most Admired Companies®.

MGM Resorts Image: Park MGM

We conceived and launched MGM Digital Ventures

MGM Digital Ventures is the hub of technology innovation for the company.  It exists to create breakthrough, out-of-the-box guest experiences.

This was an important first step towards a sweeping transformation - a single, unified vision for the future.

Image of MGM app over photo of a nightclub
MGM Resorts Mobile App

We developed some of the most compelling application experiences in the hospitality industry

Upon starting MGM Digital Ventures, I set out to begin the transformation of the customer experience. This included setting the vision & hiring a world-class team. We developed all-new apps that let you check-in and unlock your door with your phone. We grew e-commerce to $820 million annually in bookings - 14% annual growth.

Starbucks Era

Prior to MGM, I was the Vice President, Global Products at Starbucks

I led the design, product management and engineering teams that developed the company's consumer-facing experiences.

I started as the VP Digital, Starbucks in Shanghai China

I created the digital organization and outlined a plan to execute the finest retail experiences in the country.  An entirely new technology organization and strategy was developed. The result of that work is a digital payment and loyalty program that is the most pervasive of any other B2C company outside of the primary social networks in the country.

Image of Starbucks employee in China demonstrating pour-over coffee technique.

Starbucks China: an omni-channel experience consisting of in-store, membership, loyalty and digital commerce

Our new team led the new, unified architecture that sits at the core of Starbucks China digital products. Includes delivery & payments.

I also helped develop and execute a wide range of strategic partnerships with the leading technology companies.

I helped to establish key partnerships with the leading Chinese technology companies.

Alibaba & more

While in China, I had the opportunity to work with some of the largest technology companies (and founders like Jack Ma) in China, rolling out digital payment & delivery capabilities.

July 13, 2016

Starbucks Mobile Payments Go To China

Starbucks digital payments powerpoint presentation.
February 10, 2017

Tencent partners with Starbucks to launch WeChat ‘social gifting’ feature

Screenshot of the Starbucks mobile app that enables digital gifting in China
March 5, 2018

Starbucks Uses China as a Testing Ground for Its New Website: What's Improved, What's Expected

Starbucks China mobile app introduces social gifting and digital payments

Shanghai Roastery

We conceived and developed ground-breaking mobile experiences to support the first Starbucks Roastery store outside of North America.

Starbucks Shanghai China Roastery outside view from the street

VP, Starbucks International Products

The opportunities that existed for the company in 70 markets around the world led me and a small team to consider design, technology and workflows for creating mobile & web products at scale. This hadn't been considered at the company before. We set up to develop UX/UI kits that could be leveraged by any market. That design language has become the foundation for the current generation of Starbucks apps in the United States and elsewhere.

Picture of the inside of a Starbucks store.
Image of Starbucks Digital Design language
Image of a Starbucks employee working in a roaster

Angel investing since 2007

I launched an early seed-stage company in the Pacific Northwest, called Curious Office. We have incubated and invested in dozens of companies, and we participated in some notable exits to companies like these:

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