SBD/March 18, 2011/Franchises

Peddie Willing To Delay MLSE Retirement Until Ownership Is Settled

Peddie's official retirement date from MLSE is the end of December
The Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan's exploration of selling its 66% stake in MLSE “has put the brakes on the succession plan” for President & CEO Richard Peddie, according to David Shoalts of the GLOBE & MAIL. Peddie confirmed this week MLSE has “slowed down the search” for a new president, although he declined to offer any more details. Peddie told MLSE officials that he is “willing to hang around until the ownership question is settled,” which might “extend his stay until September.” Shoalts notes internally, the “top candidate” to succeed Peddie is MLSE Exec VP & COO Tom Anselmi. Other candidates "known in the hockey world include" AEG President & CEO Tim Leiweke, former Sabres Managing Partner & Minority Owner Larry Quinn, former Stars President Jim Lites, Blackhawks President John McDonough and Comcast-Spectacor President & COO Peter Luukko. However, "most of those executives are well-entrenched in their positions.” The other “intriguing name” under consideration is Blues Chair Dave Checketts, who on Wednesday announced his intention to sell the franchise (GLOBE & MAIL, 3/18). In Toronto, Mike Zeisberger notes MLSE has sent a memo to employees “assuring everyone in its workforce that there is no reason to worry about their individual employment futures if and when a transaction takes place." A source said, “It was just a chance to make sure the employees knew that they were valuable assets in whatever deal goes down. They needed to know that they are valuable resources in this whole process” (TORONTO SUN 3/18).
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