Vancouver, B.C. - Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment announced today the hiring of Chris Zimmerman to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer. Zimmerman joins the organization from Nike Bauer Hockey Inc., where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer for the past three years.
"After conducting an extensive search, we as an ownership group believe we have found just the right person to lead our executive group and Canucks organization in building the business for the future," said John E. McCaw Jr., Chairman, Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment. "Chris' business acumen and proven successes, most recently at Nike Bauer Hockey and Nike Golf, along with his passion for the game and business of hockey make him the ideal person to help grow our business from its solid foundation."
"As a life long hockey fan, I have always wanted to work in a city where the community has such a passion for the game. It's exciting to be able to join this organization and help to continue to build the business," said Chris Zimmerman, President & CEO, Orca Bay Sports & Entertainment. "Vancouver is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and my family and I are eager to immerse ourselves in all that it has to offer."
Zimmerman was born in New York, NY and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Mass Communication from the University of Vermont. He went on to earn his MBA at Babson College in 1983. While earning his B.A. at Vermont, Zimmerman spent four successful seasons playing for the NCAA Division I hockey team at the University. As he worked towards his MBA at Babson College, he spent time as an Assistant Coach for its men's hockey team, helping lead the Division III school to the National Championship game in 1982.
In Zimmerman's three years overseeing the Nike Bauer Hockey brand, he utilized his passion and knowledge of the game to drive sales, marketing, research, design and development, and operations for one of the world's leading and most-recognized manufacturers and developers of hockey equipment and apparel. During his three years, the business recorded significant growth and regained its number one position in the hockey equipment market.
Prior to his appointment as President and CEO in March 2003, Zimmerman was General Manager of Nike Golf USA, with its headquarters located in Beaverton, Oregon, where he helped lead the re-launch of Nike Golf and established the brand as a truly authentic player in the industry. During his tenure, Nike Golf recorded significant revenue and market share growth as it entered the highly competitive golf ball and gold club segment of the industry.
Before joining the Nike Golf Team in 1998, Zimmerman spent 16 years in a variety of senior advertising positions. From 1995 to 1998, he was the USA Advertising Director for the Nike Brand and created work that helped grow the Nike Business from $3 billion (US) to $5 billion in sales.
Prior to joining Nike, Zimmerman was a Senior Vice President at Saatchi and Saatchi Advertising in New York, where he directed the advertising development for brands such as Tide, Wendy's, Champion Sportswear, Finesse Shampoo, Kenner Toys, and LifeSavers Candy. He was a member of the account team for Wendy's during the development of the highly successful "Where's the Beef" campaign.
Zimmerman is a committed hockey fan who has played the game for the better part of the last 30 years. He devotes many hours to community initiatives and most recently served on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics New Hampshire, continuing a similar role he held in Oregon. Zimmerman and his wife Emily, have two children, a daughter Kate and son Ted.