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People on the move: AMG, Chicago Bears and more

Featured image credit: Academy Music Group

Liam Boylan, the former stadium director at Wembley, has taken up a new role as chief executive of Academy Music Group, the UK’s leading owner and operator of live music and entertainment venues.

Boylan (pictured) joined Wembley in January 2015 and announced his departure in September. He had served as stadium director since July 2020.

Prior to joining Wembley, Boylan worked with SJM Concerts, touring the UK for 13 years. He also spent five years at Manchester’s AO Arena.

Ivan Gazidis has been named president of Kilmer Sports Ventures, a new division of the Kilmer Group owned by Larry Tanenbaum, chair of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment (MLSE).

Gazidis most recently served as chief executive of AC Milan and was formerly chief executive of Arsenal. He was one of the founders of Major League Soccer and served as its deputy commissioner.

MLSE is the parent company of several Canadian sports teams, including the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, MLS team Toronto FC, and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts.

The Chicago Bears NFL team has promoted Karen B. Murphy to executive vice-president of stadium development and chief operating officer.

Murphy joined the Bears as a controller in 1999 before being promoted to chief financial officer in 2002 and senior vice-president of business strategy in 2016. In her new role, she will work with Bears president and chief executive Kevin Warren to drive the team’s long-term vision and strategic objective of developing a new stadium.

Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, which owns Arsenal, the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, the NBA’s Denver Nuggets, the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche and MLS team Colorado Rapids, has announced key additions to its executive team.

Long-time KSE executive Mike Neary will now be executive vice-president of business operations and development, while Rams president Kevin Demoff has been named president of team and media operations at KSE.

Neary will oversee operations of various KSE companies and venues, including Ball Arena, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Paramount Theatre. He will help lead KSE’s real estate initiatives and help set the strategy for the company’s current operations and future growth.

Demoff, who joined the Rams in 2009 and played a key role in the design and construction of Hollywood Park, will oversee all operations of all KSE teams. Both Neary and Demoff will report to Josh Kroenke.

Paul Bell has started a new role as chief operating officer of Premier League club Nottingham Forest.

Bell previously had two spells at Leeds United, initially from 2010 to 2014 as director of commercial affairs, and between 2016 and 2024 as executive director. He worked as chief operating officer of Sheffield Wednesday from October 2014 to January 2016.

Christian Hockenjos, director of organisation at Bundesliga football club Borussia Dortmund, has been re-elected as chair of the board of the Association of German Stadium Operators (VdS).

Hockenjos was re-elected for a further two years during the VdS general meeting at Stuttgart’s MHP Arena. He has held the role since 2020 and his re-election comes as Germany prepares to host UEFA Euro 2024 this summer.

Lancashire Cricket has announced that Dame Sarah Storey has accepted a nomination by its board to become the club’s next president.

Storey, Britain’s most decorated Paralympian, will serve a two-year term. Storey currently serves as active travel commissioner for Greater Manchester and a visiting professor at Manchester Metropolitan University. She will succeed Sir Howard Bernstein as president of Lancashire Cricket.

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.