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Chelsea eye Chris Jurasek as new CEO, plus more

All of the week’s Movers & Shakers in one place.

12 May 2023 Josh Sim

Getty Images

Premier League outfit Chelsea are in final talks to appoint Chris Jurasek as their new chief executive, according to The Times.

Jurasek is an operating executive for Clearlake Capital, the private equity firm which bought the English soccer club alongside Todd Boehly for UK£4.25 billion (US$5.2 billion). His hire is said to be part of a broader management restructure at the club, and he will be handed responsibility for the team’s commercial operations as part of the changes.

The hiring will likely bring the role of Tom Glick, the club’s president of business, into doubt, given he was appointed to expand Chelsea’s commercial business and help sow the seeds for an eventual multi-club ownership model, which he previously helped to do at Manchester City. Glick would report to Jurasek under the proposed management structure, according to The Times.

With season ticket prices frozen, finding new revenue sources will therefore be paramount for Jurasek. Top of the agenda will be finding a new front-of-shirt sponsor, with Three unlikely to extend its current deal reportedly worth UK£40 million (US$50.1 million) a year. A new sleeve sponsor will also be targeted after digital asset brand WhaleFin reportedly opted to terminate its UK£20 million (US$25.1 million) per season deal early.

Elsewhere, Twitter is in discussions to hire Linda Yaccarino as its new chief executive, according to multiple reports. The New York Times reports that its owner Elon Musk is in advanced talks with Yaccarino, who currently works as the chair of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal.

While Musk has yet to confirm Yaccarino as his chosen candidate, he did tweet that the new hire would commence work in about six weeks’ time. He also confirmed he would retain the positions of executive chair and chief technology officer respectively, while also still being in charge of Twitter’s product and software.

In other news, Bloomberg reports that Apple executive Pete Distad, who leads its Apple TV+ and sports businesses, will leave the technology giant later this month. Distad’s division is credited for negotiating respective rights deals with Major League Baseball (MLB) and Major League Soccer (MLS). The outlet reports that James DeLorenzo, a sports content executive at Apple, will be taking on Distad’s sports responsibilities.


Appointments

John Jeffrey
Vice-chairman, World Rugby

Krishna Rao
Chief financial officer, Fanatics Commerce
Previously: Chief financial officer, Cedar

Charmaine Crooks
President, Canada Soccer

David Reid
President, Fiba Oceania

David Morehouse
Executive vice president for strategy, Pittsburgh Steelers
Previously: Senior advisor to the president, Pittsburgh Steelers

Jerry Ferguson
Vice president of marketing, Chicago Blackhawks
Previously: Vice president of growth and innovation, Sid Lee

Paul McDonough
President, United Soccer League
Previously: Chief soccer officer, Wasserman

Simon Green
Chief operating officer, Supponor
Previously: Managing director, BT Sport

Seamus O’Brien
President, APAC, Sportfive

Ebony Rainford-Brent
Cricket non-executive director, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)

Pete Ackerley
Cricket non-executive director, ECB

David Hunt
Commercial director, UK and Ireland, Spring Media
Previously: Vice president for content and broadcasting, DAZN

Ludvig Gårdebäck
Commercial director, football, Spring Media
Previously: Senior manager OTT acquisitions, OneFootball

Maxime Devillaz
Head of sales operations, Spring Media
Previously: Project manager, Viaplay Group

Marcus Alm
Vice president sales, Spring Media
Previously: Head of operations, Spring Media


Departures

Jean-Michel Aulas
President, Olympique Lyonnais
Note: Aulas will be replaced as chair of OL Groupe by John Textor.

Matt Stagg
Director of mobile and immersive, BT Sport

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