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People on the move: FA, Delaware North and more

Debbie Hewitt has been appointed as the new chair of the English Football Association (FA), with effect from 2022.

Hewitt will succeed the FA’s interim chair Peter McCormick and will become the first chairwoman in the body’s 157-year history.

Hewitt currently serves as the non-executive chair of Visa Europe, The Restaurant Group, BGL Group and White Stuff. After six years at The Restaurant Group, she will step down from the business when she joins the FA in January.

The FA Council will be asked to formally ratify the new chair at its next meeting on July 22 and conditional on this, Hewitt will start the role in January. McCormick will remain in position as interim chair until this date.

Global hospitality company Delaware North has hired James Obletz as president of its Sportservice division.

Joe Sims, chief operating officer of Delaware North Sportservice, will report to Obletz, who has served as president of Delaware North’s Travel division since January 2020. Obletz also previously served as Delaware North’s senior vice-president of corporate development and worked at JP Morgan before joining the company.

Delaware North Sportservice provides concessions, premium dining, catering and retail services to more than 50 sports and entertainment venues in the US.

Kim Stone is to step down as general manager of Chase Center, home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors.

Stone will leave the position due to family reasons on July 2, Sports Business Journal reports. Stone has been with the Warriors since April 2019 having previously spent 23 years at rival NBA team Miami Heat.

Live Nation Entertainment has named former PepsiCo executive Nicole Portwood (pictured left) as its first chief brand officer.

Portwood is tasked with further enhancing the Live Nation brand across all channels by exploring new opportunities that develop deeper relationships with both artists and fans worldwide.

Portwood most recently served as vice-president of marketing for Mountain Dew and PepsiCo’s flavoured soft drink portfolio. She previously held the position of vice-president and chief marketing officer at Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

GoFan, the digital ticketing solution for high school events, has promoted Stuart Granger to chief operating officer and added David Greiff (pictured right) as chief revenue officer.

Granger, who has held senior positions in the tech industry in a career spanning more than 30 years, is now responsible for all product, platform and service operations of the company. He had held the position of GoFan’s chief technology officer since January 2020.

As CRO, Greiff, previously head of sales at insurance firm Bold Penguin, will lead all GoFan’s sales, customer success and marketing functions. He will also be responsible for driving growth and aligning all revenue-generating departments to strengthen and build strategic partnerships. 

Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), which owns Lord’s cricket ground, has appointed Mahdi Choudhury (pictured centre) as assistant secretary (membership). The role includes leadership of the ticketing department, as well as community development and heritage and collections.

Choudhury’s experience includes acting as chief executive at the British Athletes Commission (BAC), an independent director for the European Rugby League Federation, and lawyer for the British Olympic Association.

Do you have news of an appointment that we should know about? Get in touch by emailing news.editor@thestadiumbusiness.com and we’ll include it in our next round-up.