The Task Force on Smithsonian Business Ventures issued its report this week which called for retaining the business operation as a centralized, distinct organization within the Smithsonian, but more closely aligning its functions with the mission of the Institution. The report also recommended that SBV increase transparency in its business operations.
The Task Force was established by Acting Secretary Cristián Samper in August 2007 to review Smithsonian Business Ventures and recommend ways to improve its operation and maximize financial- and program-related contributions to the Smithsonian.
The Task Force concluded that financial performance and overall quality fell short of expectations because the Institution was unnecessarily divided against itself. The Task Force also recommended reorganizing the business into three large groupings—Retail (stores, catalog and online catalog, IMAX theaters, food services), Business Development & Licensing (new businesses, product development & licensing, student and adult educational travel) and Media (Smithsonian magazine, online publishing, Smithsonian books, Smithsonian Networks, goSmithsonian magazine).