VANCOUVER – Former Anschutz Entertainment Group topper Tim Leiweke is headed to Canada to run Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Toronto Maple Leafs and Toronto Raptors pro sport teams.
Like AEG, which runs the Los Angeles Kings and Los Angeles Galaxy, MLSE also owns sports stadiums, concert venues and other entertainment platforms.
Leiweke was named as the new president and CEO, effective June 30.
"Tim Leiweke is one of the top sports executives in the world, renowned for his ability to build championship teams, premier entertainment events, and innovative brand and marketing opportunities," MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum said in a news release.
"Tim is a leader who understands what fans want and what it takes to build winners. With his deep leadership experience and unparalleled success at the highest levels of professional sports, Tim's the right CEO at the right time to lead the transformation of MLSE,” he added.
Leiweke’s appointment follows Canadian telecom giants Rogers Communications and BCE's completion of a CAN$1.3 billion (US$1.31 billion) deal to buy a 75 percent stake in MLSE. In March, Leiweke stepped down as president/CEO of AEG after owner Phillip Anschutz took the company off the market. He was replaced by CFO Dan Beckerman.
The Canadian sports and entertainment giant includes five TV networks: Leafs TV, Gol TV and NBA TV Canada, as well as two services that have not yet launched, Mainstream Sports and Live Music Channel.
Rogers and BCE subsidiary Bell Media each operate the country’s top TV sports channels.
Leiweke takes over from Richard Peddie, who stepped down as head of MLSE last year.
"I'm honored and excited to be chosen to lead MLSE, a world-class sports and entertainment organization with the major league teams, premier facilities and employee team that rank with the very best across North America and internationally," he said in the statement.