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Tim Leiweke restructures senior management team at MLSE

TORONTO - Maple Leaf Sports&Entertainment is shaking up its senior management team and streamlining some of its operations in a move that will see several senior executives leave their posts.

Tim Leiweke, who took the helm as president and CEO in April, said the changes were needed to improve efficiency, "better serve" fans and customers, and focus on streamlined communication and interaction with its fans.

"I have always seen Toronto as one of the top sports and entertainment markets in the world, and my goal coming to Maple Leaf Sports&Entertainment was to help take this organization from 'good' to 'great' by making the necessary changes both on our playing surfaces and off," Leiweke said in a statement.

"Today is about changes off the ice, court and pitch."

The new senior leadership group will comprise Tom Anselmi, who will continue his duties as chief operating officer, and Ian Clarke, who remains the company's chief financial officer.

Anselmi stepped into the president's job before Leiweke was hired, replacing former president and CEO Richard Peddie, who stepped down in late 2011.

David Hopkinson, currently a senior vice-president of global partnerships and marketing, will become chief commercial officer. Jeff Deline will take over as vice-president, global partnerships and Shannon Hosford as vice-president, marketing and communications.

Peter Miller will move up to chief legal and development officer and Bob Hunter goes from executive vice-president of venues and entertainment to chief facilities and live entertainment officer.

Tom Pistore has been appointed as the vice-president of ticket sales and service.

All members of the senior management will report directly to Leiweke.

"Today's restructuring will result in the departure of a number of MLSE executives, and on behalf of the company, I'd like to thank them for their many contributions to MLSE's successes over the years," Leiweke said without detailing who was leaving the organization.

A July 12 cached page in the "Leaders at MLSE" section on company's website included 19 people while the new list has 16 names.

An MLSE spokeswoman said there would be no further comment the company on the changes.

The Toronto-based sports conglomerate also said a number of areas of the business will be reallocated to improve efficiency, but didn't provide details about what those changes that may mean.

MLSE owns the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, the Toronto Marlies, Toronto FC, as well as the Air Canada Centre, Maple Leaf Square and three digital sports channels.

It has also invested in four of Toronto's sports facilities: Ricoh Coliseum, BMO Field, Lamport Stadium and the MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, were the Leafs and Marlies practice.

Before joining MLSE, Leiweke was the president and CEO of sports and entertainment company Anschutz Entertainment Group. AEG owns the NHL's Los Angeles Kings, the L.A. Galaxy of MLS and has a stake in the NBA's L.A. Lakers, among other interests.

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