WME Retains Top IMG Executive Team Of Pyne, Sutton, Masquelier In Run-Up To IPO
IMG’s current executive team will "stay with the company and assist in efforts to take it public within the next few years, ending months of speculation on the future leadership at the talent and marketing agency," according to Mickle & Ourand of SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL. IMG Sports & Entertainment President GEORGE PYNE, IMG College President BEN SUTTON and IMG Media President MICHEL MASQUELIER are all "finalizing agreements to remain with the company in the run-up to an expected initial public offering." All three execs, who were "considered key because of their history and understanding of IMG’s business, will report to WME-IMG co-CEOs ARI EMANUEL and PATRICK WHITESELL." Sources said that former ESPN exec MARK SHAPIRO will "remain as a special adviser and consultant on the IMG business." He "advised WME during the sales process and, while he was expected to have a significant position in the company after the acquisition, his role at this time is unclear." Several senior IMG execs "already have left the company since the merger closed two weeks ago, including CEO MIKE DOLAN; KNOX MILLAR, senior vice president of human resources; and JIM GALLAGHER, senior vice president of communications." At a company like IMG, where a large portion of its business is "based on relationships, significant departures could hurt its bottom line." Terms of their new agreements "are not known," but Pyne will remain working largely out of N.Y., Sutton in Winston-Salem, N.C., and Masquelier out of London (SPORTSBUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/19 issue).