Fabulous People: Michael Massey

Who is Michael Massey?

Michael Massey, who is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, is the CEO of PetSmart and Board Member PetSmart Inc. and PetSmart Charities, Inc.

What is Michael Massey’s story?

Michael started working in his dad’s business when he was 11 years old, serving in nearly every job at his dad’s material handling equipment distribution business – his dad basically designed warehouses and sold the equipment to outfit them. Michael was a janitor, answered the phones, filed paperwork and did construction jobs putting up steel for warehouses. He also had a unique opportunity working as a Phlebotomist when he was in high school. A representative from the local hospital, St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, came out to Michael’s school with a training opportunity. Michael took it and was trained to take blood and got really good at it. But, he didn’t pursue studies in the medical field. He studied undergrad at Indiana University with a double major in French and history, spending a summer session abroad at the University of Dijon studying French, cooking and physics. He then studied law school at Washington University and worked part-time — about 20 hours a week — at the St. Louis Appeals Office of the IRS, as a Law Clerk. His first career step in law was as a tax and real estate lawyer at a firm in St. Louis, but he always knew he wanted to work with an in-house legal team at a corporation. He had an interview with The May Department Store Company and was immediately hired. He learned a lot about retail at May and in 1996 Payless ShoeSource was spun off from May, and Michael landed with that company, serving in a range of roles over 15 years including General Counsel, SVP of Business Development, Chairman of International Business, and finally CEO of Collective Brands, the parent company of Payless ShoeSource. He came out of early retirement to work with BC Partners, the new private equity owners of PetSmart, Inc. on the PetSmart acquisition. In March of 2015, Michael began serving as CEO of PetSmart, where he has led the effort to create a leading retail team dedicated to to maximizing opportunities in PetSmart’s role as the trusted partner to pet parents and their pets in every moment of their lives.

Michael loves the company, the team and the industry – and best of all, he loves Phoenix.

Michael says, “300+ days of sunshine is truly an amazing place to live. I have three dogs: Rocky, a 14-year-old Bichon; Darby, an 8-year-old Shiapoo; and Daisy, a 1-year-old old English Cream Golden Retriever. Like so many PetSmart associates, I often bring them to work.”

Michael Massey’s future dream?

Michael has more than one dream for the future. Personally, he wants to make Phoenix his long-term home where his grandchildren will one day come visit (they aren’t born yet). Professionally, he wants to lead PetSmart to become a great specialty retailer and an impactful citizen of Phoenix. He wants to also make certain that everybody, everywhere knows the enriching and amazing value pets bring to all our lives. And finally, Michael dreams of a day where we end pet homelessness. PetSmart along with all of their thousands of local animal welfare partners, believe that can happen sooner than you think!

What makes Michael Massey fabulous?

We love Michael’s passion for his career and the greater good his role at Petsmart plays in pets and people’s lives.

When we asked Michael what he thought makes someone fabulous, he said, “People who are honest and true to their beliefs. People who aspire to great things – whatever that is personally for them — and don’t take no for an answer.”

Michael Massey’s favorite quote?

“Wagging tails don’t lie.”


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