Mitch Garber CM (born September 5, 1964) is a Canadian lawyer, investor and business executive. He is married to Anne-Marie Boucher, a tax lawyer, and corporate board member. They are active philanthropists in the areas of healthcare, education and environment and have two sons. Garber is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Garber is an active investor/Board member, partnering with large private equity firms;
- Chairman, and co-investor of Cirque du Soleil, a TPG Capital company
- Co-investor and Board member of Rackspace, an Apollo Global Management company
- Minority owner and Board member of the National Hockey League (NHL) team in Seattle, led by majority shareholder TPG Capital founder, David Bonderman, film producer Jerry Bruckheimer, AWS CEO Andy Jassy, team CEO Tod Leiweke, and a strong group of local Seattle business leaders.
- Co-investor and Board member of the Fosun Fashion Group, including iconic French fashion house Lanvin and Austria-based Wolford.
- Co-investor and Board member Shutterfly, an Apollo Global Management company
- Investor and Chairman of Altimo.io an Israeli Artificial Intelligence company
He is also Chairman of Invest In Canada (Investment Canada), the Canadian government agency responsible for attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment (FDI) into Canada.
Education and recognitions
- Bialik High School Montreal ('81).
- Diplôme D'études Collégiale (DEC), Vanier College ('83).
- Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Relations McGill University ('86)
- Law Degree University of Ottawa ('89).
- Honorary Doctorate degree University of Ottawa ('17).
- McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management Achievement Award for significant contributions to Canadian society in business and community service ('17)
- Inducted to Wall of Fame Vanier College('19).
- June 2019 was named to the Order Of Canada by the Governor General of Canada for his many entrepreneurial contributions as well as his philanthropic leadership and commitment to education, health and culture in Canada.
From 1990-1999 Garber practiced law in Montreal at the firm Lazarus Charbonneau. He left Lazarus Charbonneau in 1999 to pursue his business career at SureFire Commerce Inc., an online payment processing start-up company he helped create with Montrealers Joel Leonoff and Rory Olson.
In 2003, he engineered the merger of SureFire, then named Terra Payments Inc., with Optimal Group Inc., a NASDAQ- listed company, to form Optimal Payments, Inc., of which he became CEO. Garber led the company to a 300% increase in share share price, as well as the successful spinoff, and UK IPO of a new subsidiary named FireOne plc. He left the company in March 2006. (In 2017, renamed, and led by its original co-founder Joel Leonoff, Optimal Payments, now Paysafe Group, sold to CVC Capital Partners and Blackstone for 3.9 billion U.S. dollars).
In 2006, Garber became CEO of Party Gaming Plc, which at the time was the world's largest publicly traded online gaming company by market cap, revenue and player liquidity. He led the company successfully until leaving to return to Canada in 2008.
In 2009, Garber joined with private equity firms TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management, principal owners of Caesars Entertainment to lead its newly-created and stand-alone digital gaming and entertainment business. Garber would serve as CEO of the new entity, named Caesars Interactive Entertainment (CIE), and was its first private investor.
In 2013, Garber added the role of CEO of Caesars Acquisition Company (CACQ), a NASDAQ-listed offshoot of Caesars Entertainment. In addition to the CIE assets, the World Series of Poker, and Playtika, being rolled into CACQ – CACQ also controlled multiple Las Vegas hotel and casinos, notably Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, The LINQ, Bally's, Paris, and outside of Las Vegas, the Horseshoe Baltimore and Harrah's New Orleans.
On July 31, 2016, CIE announced the sale of Playtika to a Chinese consortium involving Giant Interactive Group, one of China's leading games companies, and Yunfeng Capital, the private equity firm of Alibaba Founder and CEO, Jack Ma, for $4.4 billion. Having initially acquired Playtika in 2011 for approximately $100 million, Garber made it one of the most successful acquisitions in the social and mobile games industry. As of May, 2019, it is the sixth-largest sale in the history of Israel.
He is often credited for saving Caesars Entertainment from bankruptcy, and left Caesars Acquisition Co., on October 6, 2017 after overseeing the sale of Playtika and the successful merger of (CACQ) and Caesars Entertainment.
Along with his wife, Anne-Marie Boucher, Garber commits a considerable amount of his time and money to philanthropy. Philanthropic initiatives Garber and Boucher have been and are currently involved with, include; :
- Garber is the Chairman of the 2020 Combined Jewish Appeal campaign in Montreal
- Garber was Co-Chair of the 2016 $55 million Centraide (United Way) campaign in Montreal
- Garber has Chaired the annual fundraising Ball/Event for; The Montreal Museum of Fine Art, The Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, The Goodman Cancer Centre, The Douglas Mental Health Institute, The Cummings Senior Citizens Centre & The St Mary's Hospital
- Garber is a Board member and Past-Chairman of the Faculty Advisory Board of the McGill University Faculty of Medicine
- Garber and Boucher established The Garber Family Post Doctorate Fellowship in Hereditary Cancer at McGill's Faculty of Medicine as well as the Garber-Rovinescu Priorities Fund for brain research at the University of Ottawa Brain and Research Institute.
- Garber and Boucher support Aleh Jerusalem and Aleh Negev hospitals in Israel and Boucher is a Board Member
- Garber and Boucher support the St. Mary's Hospital and Boucher is Past-Chairwoman of the Board
- Garber and Boucher support the Weizmann Institute in Israel and Boucher serves on the International Board
- On the occasion of Boucher's 50th birthday, Garber established the Anne-Marie Boucher Scholarship Prize endowment at Boucher's former high school, Mont de Lasalle, to encourage students to graduate. Mont de Lasalle high school has one of the highest student drop-out rates in Quebec/Canada. Boucher actively oversees the annual program and awards.
- The Hall of Honour at Montreal's Bialik High School, part of the school's 2009 expansion, bears his name
-Garber is a frequent public speaker on social responsibility, philanthropy and business.
-In 2016, Garber addressed the Cercle Canadien on business and politics 
-2017 Commencement speech accepting Honorary Doctorate degree 
-He is part of the Stephen Bronfman led group attempting to bring Major League Baseball back to Montreal.
-He was a part-time sports radio talk show host in Montreal from 1991–1999.
- Dunlevy, T'Cha (2019-06-27). "Alanis Obomsawin, 15 other Quebecers to receive Order of Canada". Montreal Gazette. Archived from the original on 2019-07-04. Retrieved 2019-07-04.
- Bowers, Simon. "Players Walk Away as U.S. Law Wipes Out 90% of Party Gaming's Poker Revenue". www.theguardian.com. The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- Petrowski, Nathalie. "Mitch Garber: Un Dragon Fou de Montreal". www.lapresse.ca. La Presse. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- "Caesars Interactive – About Us". www.caesarsinteractive.com. Caesars Interactive Entertainment. Retrieved 2015-10-09.
- Takahashi, Dean. "How One Israeli Investor Overcomes Fears and Continues to Invest in Games". www.venturebeat.com. Venture Beat. Retrieved 2015-11-21.
- Stutz, Howard. "Garber nurtures Caesars Interactive to growth mode". www.reviewjournal.com. Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
- "Profile: Caesars Acquisition Company". www.reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 2015-11-16.
- Loo, Daryl (August 1, 2016). "Caesars Jumps on $4.4 Billion Deal to Sell Playtika Games Unit". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 8, 2016 – via www.bloomberg.com.
- Xie, Yifan (July 29, 2016). "Chinese Investor Group Buys Israel-Based Online-Games Firm". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved August 8, 2016 – via www.wsj.com.
- Lev, Tzvi (August 2, 2016). "Israeli company acquired in third-largest sale in country's history". Ynet News – Business and Finance. Ynet News. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- "How Mitch Garber saved Caesars".
- Kerr, Peter. "Mitch Garber – Successful Business Executive, Philanthropist, and Sports Fan". www.themontrealeronline.com. The Montrealer. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- Rinaldo, Sandie. "Mitch Garber Rose from Humble Beginnings to Head Up a $2.5 Billion Empire". www.ctvnews.ca. CTV News. Retrieved 2016-02-13.
- Melin, Anders. "2017 Highest Paid CEOs". Bloomberg. Bloomberg.com. Retrieved May 11, 2017.
- "Garber receives Order Of Canada".