FIFA Executive Purge Continues as Marketing Head Leavesby
Thierry Weil had served under ex-President Blatter since 2007
Last deal was signing Wanda as FIFA’s top China sponsor
FIFA’s clear-out of top executives who served the soccer body under ex-president Sepp Blatter has led to the departure of longtime marketing director Thierry Weil.
Weil, who left last week, was responsible for sponsorship, the second-biggest contributor to FIFA’s annual income of more than $1.1 billion after television rights.
“Thierry Weil decided to pursue his career elsewhere after nine successful years at FIFA,” a spokesman for the group said. Weil didn’t reply to a message seeking comment.
Weil is following several other Blatter-era executives out the door, including the two most senior administrators, Jerome Valcke and Markus Kattner. Others who’ve left FIFA in recent months include the head of the travel department and chief of the secretary-general’s office. New President Gianni Infantino has made a slew of senior appointments following his elevation in February.
Weil joined FIFA in 2007 from Adidas AG, which, along with Coca-Cola Co., is the organization’s longest-serving sponsor. Weil’s last major deal for the soccer body was with Wang Jianlin, chairman of Dalian Wanda Group Co., which in March became its first top-tier Chinese sponsor.
FIFA has struggled to attract sponsorship since U.S. authorities in May 2015 charged several senior soccer officials with ties to the organization on corruption charges. That ultimately led to Blatter’s fall and demands from sponsors for change.
The soccer group sold $1.6 billion worth of sponsorship for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It has struggled to sell rights to the 2018 tournament in Russia.