SUNRISE, FLA - The Florida Panthers and its parent company Sunrise Sports & Entertainment, LLC announced today that Rory A. Babich has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer and President. Michael R. Yormark, the former CEO and President, announced today that he is resigning to accept an offer to join Roc Nation. In his capacity as CEO and President, Mr. Babich will be responsible for all business and hockey operations, where he will partner with Dale M. Tallon, currently the Executive Vice President and General Manager, who will also have his responsibilities expanded to include business operations. Both Mr. Babich and Mr. Tallon have also been named as Alternative Governors to the National Hockey League’s Board of Governors.
Panthers owner Vincent Viola said, “We appreciate Michael's many years of hard work and service to the organization and wish Michael much continued success in his new role. While we are sorry to see Michael leave, he has received an offer for a tremendous opportunity and we are fortunate that we will be able to continue working with him in his new role. Rory has been working with us throughout our acquisition of the team and has been partnering with Michael on the business side and Dale on the hockey side since he joined us. Rory and Dale have developed an extremely close working relationship and we look forward to having them continue our mission to develop a team that makes Sunrise, Broward County and South Florida proud on and off the ice and continues to attract sports-loving tourists from all over the world to Broward County. We will continue to focus on bringing the Stanley Cup to Broward County and South Florida while also offering the best entertainment and biggest names at BB&T Center in Sunrise."
Panthers co-owner Douglas Cifu said, “I have known Rory for nearly 25 years. He is an experienced senior business executive with an incredible knowledge of sports in general and hockey in particular. Together with Dale Tallon, who led the effort to build the foundation of the Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and is building a similar model here with our young guns, the two of them will pool their talents as we advance on our journey to bring the Stanley Cup to South Florida."
Growing up in the sports world with a father who was a college baseball coach and doubled as a sportswriter, Babich, who was born in NY, NY, has been working with the owners of the Panthers since they started exploring buying the team last summer. Before launching his consulting business, Babich was a senior executive responsible for running the day-to-day business of a division of Fortress Investment Group, a financial services company listed on the NYSE. Babich also has over 20 years of experience as a leading international corporate attorney. Babich said, “I am very excited about this opportunity to help take the team and the organization to the next level as we build a successful hockey team while also strengthening our bonds with our many supporters throughout Sunrise, Broward County and South Florida and having hockey-loving fans from Europe who vacation in South Florida adopt our team as their team. I could not ask to work with a better partner than Dale, and we are very optimistic about the future.”
Tallon, originally from Noranda, Canada, has been an Executive Vice President and the General Manager of the Panthers since May 2010. After helping build the Chicago Blackhawks into a Stanley Cup winner, Tallon is now in the process of working with Babich to replicate that success through careful drafting and development of young players with additional players added through trades and free agency. During his tenure, Tallon has led the Panthers to their first Southeast Division title during the 2011-2012 season and was selected as a finalist for the National Hockey League’s 2011-2012 Executive of the Year. Tallon said, “In the time we have been working together, Rory has become a trusted partner on the hockey side for me and I look forward to working with Rory on all parts of our business. Vinnie has given us the authority to become a cap team and we look forward to adding the right pieces and building the team the right way to ensure long-term success.”
Sunrise Sports & Entertainment is the premier company of its kind in South Florida and operates the Florida Panther Hockey Club, the Florida Panthers IceDen and the Broward County-owned BB&T Center, one of the top ranked venues of its kind in the world. Florida Panthers Social Media is powered by Ford - follow us on Twitter and Facebook.