Published December 19, 2013
Sutton was asked to stay at IMG but has not made a commitment yet
Sources said that William Morris Endeavor co-CEOs Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel are expected to visit IMG College HQs in Winston-Salem, N.C., today to see the operation and meet further with IMG College President Ben Sutton. The most immediate question facing WME in the aftermath of its $2.4B acquisition of IMG is whether certain company leadership -- Sutton and IMG Sports & Entertainment President George Pyne -- will stay with the company. In a memo to staff yesterday, Sutton wrote that both of them have been asked to stay, but neither have made a commitment yet. It is uncertain which direction they will go. Some industry experts believe Sutton and Pyne are a package deal because they have worked so well together in building IMG College from $25M in net income to $70M over the past three years. While the college business is new to WME, they have expressed a desire to stay the course. Sutton in an e-mail to staff wrote, "They foresee opportunities to further develop the college business." In the meantime, Sutton directed his team of more than 1,000 employees at IMG College to conduct business as usual.