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Canucks Sports & Entertainment President and CEO Chris Zimmerman resigns

by Staff Writer / Vancouver Canucks
Vancouver, B.C. – Canucks Sports & Entertainment announced today that President and CEO, Chris Zimmerman has made the decision to step down from his position for family reasons. Zimmerman has spent the past three seasons providing the overall strategic direction for the company. General Manager and Alternate Governor, Mike Gillis, has been named President of Canucks Sports & Entertainment.

“On behalf of my family and the entire Canucks Sports & Entertainment staff, I would like to thank Chris for his years of leadership with our organization,” said Francesco Aquilini, Chairman, Canucks Sports & Entertainment. “Chris’ passion for our business, our hockey team and our city will be missed. We wish him and his family the very best in the future. We are very confident that with the strong leadership of Mike Gillis, Victor de Bonis and our Senior Leadership Team, our business will continue to be successful both on the ice and in the community.”

“I have made the very difficult decision to resign my position with Canucks Sports & Entertainment and re-locate my family back to the eastern United States,” said Zimmerman. “These past three years have been a tremendous personal and professional experience for me and I have loved working and living in the greatest hockey city in the world. I would like to thank the Aquilini family for their commitment to this city and this team, the incredible staff at Canucks Sports & Entertainment, our loyal business partners and the most passionate fans in the NHL for their support during my time here in Vancouver.”

Effective immediately, General Manager and Alternate Governor, Mike Gillis has been named the President of Canucks Sports & Entertainment. Gillis, in partnership with Chief Operating Officer, Victor de Bonis will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of the company including broadcast, marketing, sponsorship and ticket sales, finance, human resources and arena operations.

Gillis was named the team’s General Manager in April of 2008 and in his role he is responsible for the strategic leadership of the Hockey Operations Department. de Bonis has been a member of Canucks Sports & Entertainment for 15 years and his experience spans twenty years in the sports and entertainment and financial industries. de Bonis supports all facets of business operations both strategically and tactically, while leading the Senior Leadership Team.

In addition, Canucks Sports & Entertainment is pleased to announce that Tod Leiweke, Chief Executive Officer for the Seattle Seahawks and President of First and Goal Inc., who is a former senior executive with the Vancouver Canucks, will join the board of Canucks Sports & Entertainment. Leiweke will also act as an advisor to Francesco Aquilini, Mike Gillis and Victor de Bonis.

“Tod brings a tremendous amount of experience and expertise in professional sports to our board,” said Aquilini. “We are excited about the opportunity to work with him on a number of initiatives as we continue to grow our business.”
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