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Leiweke named president and CEO of MLSE, puts focus on Raptors and Colangelo @NHL

TORONTO - Longtime sports executive Tim Leiweke was named president and chief executive officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment on Friday.

The Toronto-based sports organization counts the NHL's Maple Leafs, NBA's Raptors, AHL's Marlies and Toronto FC of Major League Soccer among its properties. Leiweke will begin his duties effective June 30.

"I'm honoured and excited to be chosen to lead MLSE, a world-class sports and entertainment organization with the major league teams, premier facilities and employee team that rank with the very best across North America and internationally," Leiweke said in a statement. "MLSE is woven into the character of Toronto. The loyal and passionate fans of MLSE's teams want sports championships for this great city.

"They want excitement on the ice, on the court, on the pitch and on the stage. And they want MLSE to be an active part of their community. I am committed to delivering for them when I begin my new role as CEO of MLSE."

Tom Anselmi, who will continue to serve as chief operating officer, had added the president's job to his duties last year. He replaced former president and CEO Richard Peddie, who stepped down in late 2011.

Leiweke was most recently 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.

"Tim Leiweke is one of the top sports executives in the world, renowned for his ability to build championship teams, premier entertainment events, and innovative brand and marketing opportunities," MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum said. "Tim is a leader who understands what fans want and what it takes to build winners. With his deep leadership experience and unparalleled success at the highest levels of professional sports, Tim's the right CEO at the right time to lead the transformation of MLSE."

Leiweke's pro sports business career has spanned over 30 years. He joined the Kings as president in 1996 and became president and CEO of AEG Worldwide in 2001.

He also previously served as president and CEO of U.S. Skiing and has worked for the NBA's Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves as well as the St. Louis Steamers of the Major Indoor Soccer League.

"My family and I eagerly look forward to becoming part of the community in Toronto, one of the great cities of the world, and to joining the passionate and dedicated fans of the Maple Leafs, the Raptors, Toronto FC and the Marlies," Leiweke said.

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