SBD/March 21, 2011/People and Pop Culture

CFL Alouettes Hire Former Canadiens Exec Ray Lalonde As President & CEO

Alouettes hire former Canadiens
exec as President & CEO
The CFL Montreal Alouettes have hired RAY LALONDE as President & CEO. Most recently, Lalonde was VP and Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for the Canadiens (Alouettes). In Montreal, Herb Zurkowsky noted Lalonde joins the Alouettes two months after he "basically was fired" by Canadiens Owner GEOFF MOLSON. Lalonde said, "This is a real proud moment to be leading the Als. Today's the realization of an important dream for me. I'm excited about the present and future. The Als have been incredible as a franchise." Zurkowsky noted Lalonde has had an "extensive, and successful, career in sports" that also includes an eight-year stint working for the NBA in Europe. During his tenure with the Canadiens, Bell Centre was "always sold out, including the luxury suites, even when the on-ice product stank." He is "considered a sharp salesman with strong relationships in the business community." Lalonde said "all the right things at his introductory news conference" last week (Montreal GAZETTE, 3/17). Lalonde succeeds LARY SMITH, who announced his resignation last November. It is believed that Lalonde has "signed a personal services contract" with Alouettes Owner ROBERT WETENHALL. That deal, paying an estimated annual salary of C$500,000, is "likely open for review and extension on a yearly basis" (MONTREALGAZETTE.com, 3/16).
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