Christopher Ilitch leads and provides oversight to the Ilitch companies - the businesses that were founded or purchased by Detroit entrepreneurs Mike (1929-2017) and/or Marian Ilitch. These businesses include: Little Caesars Pizza, Blue Line Distribution, the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, the Detroit Tigers, Olympia Development of Michigan, Little Caesars Pizza Kit Fundraising Program and Champion Foods. The organization also has a joint venture interest in 313 Presents. Additionally, Marian Ilitch owns MotorCity Casino Hotel. Together, these companies have grown to over $3.8 billion in revenue and employ 24,000 colleagues.
Christopher has held a variety of roles throughout the organization over the past 35 years. Currently, in addition to his leadership of Ilitch Holdings, he serves as the governor, president and CEO of the Detroit Red Wings, as well as the chairman and CEO of the Detroit Tigers. Christopher is also actively engaged in the community and numerous charitable causes as Chairman of Ilitch Charities, a nonprofit organization that promotes charitable purposes aimed at developing communities and enhancing lives. The Ilitch organization and its foundations have given $190 million in grants and giving since 2000.
As governor, president and CEO of the Red Wings, Christopher oversees both business and hockey operations decisions for the organization. Following the 2018-19 season, Christopher welcomed Steve Yzerman back to the Red Wings as executive vice president and general manager, tabbing Detroit's former captain as the 11th general manager in franchise history. Under Ilitch ownership, the Red Wings have won four Stanley Cup championships and qualified for the playoffs in 25-consecutive seasons from 1991-2016.
Christopher is currently leading the most ambitious development effort in the Ilitch organization's history, The District Detroit. He cast a bold and long-term vision for The District Detroit - a transformative development effort designed to bring sports, entertainment and economic vitality to the area between downtown and Midtown Detroit. The District Detroit is home to the award-winning and state-of-the art Little Caesars Arena, Comerica Park, the new Mike Ilitch School of Business, Little Caesars world headquarters campus and will include residential, commercial and retail spaces.
Beyond his work at the Ilitch companies, Christopher is an active business leader across the state of Michigan and in the City of Detroit. He serves on the board, executive committee and nominating committee for Business Leaders for Michigan and the board and executive committee for the Downtown Detroit Partnership. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Detroit Economic Club.
Christopher has served on host/hospitality committees for several large-scale sporting events in Detroit, including the 2010 NCAA Men's Frozen Four Hockey Championship (cochair), the 2009 NCAA Final Four Men's Basketball Tournament, Super Bowl XL and the 2005 Major League Baseball All-Star game (chair).
An avid baseball and hockey player in his youth, Christopher is an alumnus of Little Caesars Amateur Hockey and won a state championship in high school at Cranbrook Kingswood in 1983.
Christopher holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He and his wife Kelle have three children and reside in metro Detroit.