Skip to content

Eric Smidt

CEO, owner and co-founder of Harbor Freight Tools; Founder of Harbor Freight Tools for Schools and the Smidt Foundation

Eric is the CEO, co-founder and owner of Harbor Freight Tools, a national specialty retailer in the tool sector with over 800 stores and 20,000 employees in 47 states.

Eric created Harbor Freight Tools for Schools to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young people with the under-appreciated talents of building, fixing and creating. This commitment is based on his strong belief in the dignity of the skilled trades and the incredible opportunities this sector offers to individuals and their families, and to our country’s economy.

He established Harbor Freight Tools for Schools to support the revival of the skilled trades in public schools across the U.S. with a kick-off donation of $1.5 million in tools and equipment to the Los Angeles Unified School District and additional donations to support career technical education in Chicago and Dillon County, South Carolina.

He serves on the boards of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Portland Art Museum. Eric and his wife, Susan, have been long-time supporters of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and UCLA. They were also the lead funders of the Alliance Susan & Eric Smidt Technology High School, a charter school in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles.