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Volume 20 No. 46
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Luukko sees surprise departure from Comcast-Spectacor as chance to ‘make one more run at something new’

Peter Luukko’s resignation last week as president and CEO of Comcast-Spectacor surprised many in the industry, but Luukko said it was a mutual decision made with Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider and that they parted on good terms.

“I’m actually very happy,” said Luukko, who was also president of the Philadelphia Flyers. “It’s a good opportunity for me to cash out of some of the businesses I started along with others.”

Luukko, whose relationship with the 80-year-old Snider dates to 1985, was widely considered to be in line to succeed him. Snider said the decision “came as a surprise.”

Luukko gave no details on what prompted his abrupt departure.

Comcast-Spectacor appointed two finance officials from Comcast Corp., Snider’s business partner in Comcast-Spectacor, to help lead the firm in Luukko’s absence. Dave Scott, a retired Comcast Cable chief financial officer, is now acting president of the company. Gary Rostick is now Comcast-Spectacor chief financial officer, moving over from Comcast Business Services, where he held the same position.

Bringing in executives from outside Comcast-Spectacor to head the firm raised questions among some observers. “It’s so unusual because Ed would never appoint a finance guy from outside the Spectacor family to lead the company,” said one source familiar with company. It also comes about a month after the departure of former Comcast-Spectacor Chief Financial Officer Russ Chandler.

Luukko said there was no connection between his resignation and Chandler’s exit.

Asked why Chandler left Comcast-Spectacor, Snider said, “It’s not something I want to talk about.”

Luukko’s resignation comes at an awkward time for Global Spectrum, considering that the Minnesota Vikings, breaking ground last week on their $975 million stadium project, plan to issue a request for proposal next month to manage the facility. Global Spectrum, along with AEG and SMG, its two main competitors in that space, is expected to compete for the assignment.

Luukko said there are opportunities elsewhere to make his mark. At age 54, he said, “I have a nest egg and can make one more run at something new and exciting.”