Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment named Tim Leiweke as its president and chief executive officer on Friday. The organization believes it has hired one of the “top sports executives in the world.”
Leiweke previously worked as president and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), the company that owns the LA Galaxy, in addition to the NHL's Los Angeles Kings and NBA's Los Angeles Lakers, among other properties.
Leiweke, who left AEG on March 14 by what he said was mutual agreement, will move to Canada and assume his new role in late June. MLSE's key properties also include the NHL's Maple Leafs, NBA Raptors.
"I'm honoured 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," said Leiweke in a statement. "MLSE is woven into the character of Toronto. The loyal and passionate fans of MLSE's teams want sports championships for this great city.
“They want excitement on the ice, on the court, on the pitch and on the stage. And they want MLSE to be an active part of their community. I am committed to delivering for them when I begin my new role as CEO of MLSE."
Leiweke was in charge of sports and entertainment giant AEG for 17 years. He helped improve Los Angeles' sports teams while reviving the city's downtown. Leiweke also played an instrumental role in bringing David Beckham to MLS, orchestrating the move that sparked the Designated Player rule and saw Beckham sign with the Galaxy from Real Madrid in 2007.
"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," said MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum in a statement.
"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."