The Shubert Organization, the company that owns 17 Broadway theaters, has given up efforts to construct a new Broadway venue on West 45th Street, after years of working to add one more house to the theater district."It’s not going to happen," said Robert E. Wankel, the president and co-CEO of the Shubert Org, in a recent interview with Shubert chairman and co-CEO Philip J. Smith. "It got too complicated."Broadway real estate is at a premium, making the prospect of a...
Working closely with longtime colleague Shubert chairman Philip J. Smith, Robert E. Wankel shares leadership of the company that is Broadway’s biggest landlord, encompassing 17 of Broadway’s 41 theaters plus the Off Broadway theater complex New World Stages as well as Stage 42 (plus Philadelphia’s Forrest Theater). Over more than 40 years with the Shuberts, he’s been a guiding force in the company’s financial, real estate and ticketing operations.
A native New Yorker and a graduate of St. Johns University, Wankel began his career as an accountant for a firm that had the Shubert Organization as a client. In 1975, Shubert leadership tapped him as manager of Shubert Financial Planning, and from there Wankel climbed the ladder to posts that included controller, chief financial officer and executive vice president. He became president of the Shubert Organization in 2008, elevated to his post in the wake of the death of Gerald Schoenfeld, then the chairman of the company.
Wankel is also on the board of the Shubert Foundation, the nonprofit that hands out millions in grants each year to support live performing arts in the U.S. He’s also chairman of the board of governors of the Broadway League, the trade association of theater producers and presenters.