Utah Jazz appoint Danny Ainge as CEO, plus more

Danny Ainge has been appointed chief executive of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Utah Jazz.

The 62-year-old will also represent Smith Entertainment Group (SEG), the operating company which owns the Jazz, as an alternate governor for the franchise on the NBA’s board of governors.

Ainge joins SEG and the Jazz after 18 years with the Boston Celtics, most recently as president of basketball operations. Previously, he was head coach of the Phoenix Suns for three seasons following a 14-year career as an NBA player. Ainge is a three-time NBA champion, winning two titles as a player and one as an executive.

“We have big aspirations for Smith Entertainment Group and the Utah Jazz. Danny is one of the best basketball minds in the world and he’s also passionate about this state and our community,” said Ryan Smith, owner of the Utah Jazz and SEG.

“We believe in adding the best talent to all facets of our organisation and are lucky to have Danny’s acumen and experience. The Jazz are in great hands with the incredible leadership of general manager Justin Zanik and head coach Quin Snyder. We couldn’t be more excited to bring Danny on board to work alongside Justin, Quin and me. Danny will help make our organisation stronger in pursuit of our collective goal – winning an NBA title.”

Ainge added: “I have known and respected Ryan and Ashley Smith for many years. What they are doing here in Utah is amazing and I am excited to be a part of their vision for the Jazz and Smith Entertainment Group as a whole.

“Joining the Jazz was a natural and perfect fit for me, as my roots in Utah are deep and strong. This is a team that has a tremendous foundation of players and people, and Justin and Quin are doing an amazing job. I am excited to collaborate with them, be a resource, and share the perspective I have as we work together to bring our fans the success that they deserve.”

Elsewhere, the Sportfive agency has appointed a new US leadership team, with Neil Glat and Steve Loy named co-presidents. With the change, the football management business will be discontinued and Joel Segal has departed Sportfive. Simultaneously, the agency will continue to establish golf as one of its strategic global businesses.

LIV Golf Investments, the investment company backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), has hired Monica Fee as senior vice president, global head of partnerships and Lily Kenny as head of strategy.

The World Surf League (WSL) has promoted Melissa Colgate to senior vice president of business development and named Gary Davidson as vice president of business development.

Broadcast service provider EMG Group has appointed Neil Jones as chief commercial officer and Malcolm Swatton as chief people officer.


Andrew Parsons

President, International Paralympic Committee (IPC)

Notes: Parsons, who was standing unopposed, has been re-elected for a second four-year term. Duane Kale has also been re-elected as IPC vice president.

Faisal Hasnain

Chief executive, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)

Previously: Managing director, Zimbabwe Cricket

Ivo Ferriani

President, SportAccord

Notes: Ferriani, who was unanimously elected, succeeds Raffaele Chiulli.

Adrian Christy

Interim chief executive, Table Tennis England

Previously: Chief executive, Badminton England

Bindi Ghai

Vice president, digital commercial, Seven League

Previously: Content and creator lead, Pinterest

Notes: Seven League has also hired Twitter’s Hash Piperdy as senior account manager.

Lauren Pye

Vice president, North America, TicketCo

Previously: Sales and marketing director, ExtendedReach

David Courell

Chief operating officer, Football Association of Ireland (FAI)

Previously: Head of 2030 Fifa World Cup bid feasibility, the Football Association (FA)

Jordan Zelik

Chief of staff, Chicago Fire

Previously: Strategic partnerships and business development, Yahoo Sports

Gbemisola Abudu

Vice president and country head of Nigeria, NBA Africa

Previously: Founder and managing partner, BMGA Enterprise

Joe Inzerillo

Chief product and technology officer, SiriusXM

Previously: Executive vice president and chief technology officer, Disney Streaming Services, Walt Disney Company

Fraser Garrity

Group racing and operations manager, Arena Racing Company (ARC)

Previously: Racecourse manager, Chelmsford City

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