Whitecaps Usher In New Business Era, Hiring Mark Pannes As CEO
The Whitecaps have named longtime sports exec Mark Pannes as their new CEO, the "latest step in the club's cultural and organizational shift," according to J.J. Adams of the NATIONAL POST. Pannes has 30 years of "experience in sports leadership," including with Serie A club AS Roma and a decade with the Knicks. Pannes will "oversee the business side of the franchise" while newly hired Sporting Dir Axel Schuster will "handle the technical and sporting side." Both will "report directly to ownership." Pannes will "take the reins of a club that has struggled mightily the past two seasons but has made steps in the past few months to move into a new era." The hiring of both Schuster and Pannes, along with the club-record $5M transfer for F Lucas Cavallini, have been actions that "backed up the team's promises to shift its culture and philosophy." The Whitecaps had been "quietly searching for a CEO since hiring Schuster, and turned to Nolan Partners -- the same firm that helped in the sporting director search -- in their search for a new business head." The club has a seven-year plan, with the '26 North American World Cup being hosted in part in Canada, "playing a prominent role in its thinking" (NATIONAL POST, 1/8).