Tim Leiweke has been hired as president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Ltd., the sports and real estate group that owns the Toronto Maple Leafs of the National Hockey League and the Raptors professional basketball club.
Leiweke was previously CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group Inc., a Los Angeles-based entertainment company that owns the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS, and a stake in the NBA’s Los Angeles Lakers.
“He’s a strong leader and leaders create something new,” Richard Peddie, the previous chief executive officer of MLSE until retiring in 2011, said in a phone interview today. “Looks like MLSE is going back into growth mode. Tim has strong connections to the NFL, and there’s still some interest in the NFL for MLSE.”
Rogers Communications Inc., one of the co-owners of MLSE, has hosted regular season games with the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League at its Rogers Centre venue in Toronto since 2008.
“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,” Larry Tanenbaum, chairman of MLSE, said in a statement. Leiweke starts June 30.
MLSE is owned by Rogers and BCE Inc., Canada’s two largest telecommunications companies. Rogers rose 0.3 percent to C$50 and Bell fell 0.5 percent to C$46.53 at 2:54 p.m. in Toronto.
MLSE, based in Toronto, also owns Toronto FC of Major League Soccer. Rogers separately owns the Toronto Blue Jays Major League Baseball team.