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Features

People on the move: WWE, AEG Global Partnerships, ASM Global and more

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) kingpin Vince McMahon has announced his retirement as chairman and CEO of the organisation amid an investigation into alleged misconduct.

The 77-year-old (left of picture) acquired what was then the World Wrestling Federation from his father in 1982, transforming the company into a global entertainment enterprise that packs out stadiums and arenas across the world.

McMahon temporarily stepped down as CEO and chairman last month during a probe into alleged misconduct. Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported McMahon agreed to pay more than $12m (£9.98m/€11.74m) over the past 16 years to suppress allegations of sexual misconduct and infidelity.

In a statement on Friday, McMahon said he will continue to support WWE “in any way I can” as majority shareholder, while detailing a succession plan. His daughter, Stephanie McMahon, will serve as both chairwoman and co-CEO.

Stephanie McMahon stepped into these roles in an interim capacity last month, and will share the CEO position with Nick Khan, who joined WWE in 2020.

The AEG Global Partnerships division of sports and live entertainment company AEG has promoted Kate Sheets to the newly formed position of senior vice-president of strategy and business affairs.

Sheets (centre of picture) joined AEG in 2016 and moves to the Global Partnerships team having most recently served as vice-president, legal counsel for AEG. In the new and expanded role, Sheets will lead efforts to identify, cultivate and refine key partnerships and strategic initiatives, ensuring that they contribute to the overall growth targets and key priorities of AEG Global Partnerships.

Working closely with business leaders within Global Partnerships and across the global AEG enterprise, she will be responsible for providing strategic counsel and insight into all major revenue growth initiatives for the division and she will also help set the vision and strategy for the optimisation of partner campaigns and content.

Sheets will continue to work out of AEG’s Los Angeles office and will dually report to Nick Baker and Russell Silvers – co-chief operating officers of AEG Global Partnerships.

Entertainment experiences, venue management and event strategy company ASM Global has appointed James Taylor to the newly-created role of sales director for sports and alternative content for UK venues.

In his new role at ASM Global, commencing from September, Taylor will seek to secure more high calibre sporting, esports and championship-level events for a portfolio of venues that includes AO Arena in Manchester, OVO Arena Wembley, Olympia London, P&J Live in Aberdeen and first direct Arena in Leeds.

Taylor joins ASM Global from a nine-year stint at Wembley Stadium. Over the past five years, James has managed sponsors and bookings for the venue across sports, entertainment and music.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) has announced that the country’s former captain and opening batsman, Graeme Smith, will lead its new T20 League overseeing all aspects, both on and off the field.

Among Smith’s (right of picture) first orders of business will be to develop the brand and confirm the participating franchises for the league, which will take place annually in South Africa and is scheduled to debut in January and February 2023.

Smith returns to a role at CSA having served as director of cricket from December 2019 to March 2022. Along with CSA, the new league has broadcaster SuperSport as one of its major shareholders.

Mark Hart has resigned as chief operating officer of Tepper Sports & Entertainment (TSE), parent company of Bank of America Stadium and its two sports franchises, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers and Major League Soccer’s Charlotte FC.

Hart joined the organisation from the Panthers’ fellow NFL franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in 2018. He was considered key to the capital and infrastructural development of TSE.

Hart’s exit continues a period of upheaval at TSE. Tom Glick left as TSE president of business operations and Panthers president in February, and was last week appointed as Premier League football club Chelsea’s new president of business. Nick Kelly stepped down as CEO of TSE in May, after only three months in the role.

Venue development, advisory, and investment company Oak View Group (OVG) has appointed Leslie Deason as general manager and director of operations and programming of the Iceplex at the under-development Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, Southern California.

Deason will be responsible for the development of strategy, execution of programming, and supervising of all management at the Iceplex. Deason has managed and consulted multiple facilities across the country and internationally, as well as directed and coached ice hockey and elite figure skaters.

She will report to John Bolton, senior vice-president, entertainment – facilities and general manager at Acrisure Arena, and starts her new role effective immediately.

Scheduled to open in December, Acrisure Arena will provide a 11,000-plus seat venue designed specifically for ice hockey and built for concerts.

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.