By FRANCO PANIZO
The man responsible for the reinvigoration of Toronto FC will not be tasked with doing so for much longer.
It was announced on Thursday that renowned executive Tim Leiweke is stepping down from his posts as CEO and president of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. The move will be effective as of June 30, 2015, or until a new successor is found.
The 57-year-old Leiweke took those positions at MLSE, which owns Toronto FC, in April 2013. He helped the club make a big splash this past winter, orchestrating moves to sign Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe to Designated Player deals while also making TFC one of the more talked about clubs in MLS.
“It’s an honor to lead MLSE, a world-class organization in a city and a country so passionate about sports. But with new opportunities on the horizon, it’s time for me to begin the transition from sports and entertainment executive to entrepreneur,” said Leiweke in a statement. “Right now, my total focus is here at MLSE and I look forward to working with the Board and MLSE team to continue strengthening our franchises while ensuring a smooth transition to a new leader.”
Reports surfaced earlier in the week that Leiweke, who is also known for turning the LA Galaxy into an MLS powerhouse, was set to leave MLSE. Leiweke later refuted those reports, saying he was committed to the season at hand.
He might not be leaving this season, but Leiweke will not be a member of MLSE for much longer.
“Under Tim’s leadership, MLSE has made a number of key moves to strengthen our organization on the path to championship success,” said MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum. “We look forward to working closely with Tim to build on this foundation and further accelerate our momentum as we seek a new leader for MLSE.”
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