Ryan Smith opens up: The tech founder explains why he bought the Utah Jazz

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Ryan Smith CEO of Qualtrics and Co-Founder of 5 for the Fight speak at the press conference to announce the renewal of the Five for the Fight Qualtrics Jersey Patch through the 2022-2023 season on October 21, 2019 at Zions Bank Basketball Center in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Melissa Majchrzak | National Basketball Association | Getty Images

A View from the Top is a Q&A series exclusively available on CNBC Pro. Alex Sherman will regularly speak with a business leader about decision-making, investing and industry news.

Ryan Smith has a lot going on.

Smith is officially the new owner of the National Basketball Association's Utah Jazz. The NBA board of governors ratified the sale on Friday. He acquired the team from the Miller family for $1.6 billion. The 42-year-old Smith, a lifelong Jazz fan and Utah resident, will become one of the youngest owners in professional sports.

He's also spinning out Qualtrics, the company he founded and sold for $8 billion to SAP, in early 2021. Smith nearly took Qualtrics public in 2018 before selling at the 11th hour. He told CNBC he has had several chances to become an NBA owner and has always passed because he was waiting for the Jazz opportunity to arise.

If his backward baseball cap didn't give him away, Smith plans to bring a lot of personality to his new roles as NBA owner and public company CEO.

Here's the full Q&A:

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