Ivan Gazidis, the former chief executive of major European soccer clubs AC Milan and Arsenal, has today been named president of Kilmer Sports Ventures.

Kilmer Sports Ventures is a new division of the Toronto-based private equity firm Kilmer Group and will focus on investment opportunities in the world of sport and entertainment.

It is owned by Larry Tanenbaum, chairman and chief executive of Kilmer Group and chair of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, the parent company of several Canadian sports teams including the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, NBA’s Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC in MLS, and the Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts.

Gazidis, who has thirty years of experience as a business executive in soccer and sports, stepped down as AC Milan’s chief executive in December 2022 following the takeover by US-based private equity firm RedBird Capital Partners.

During his tenure, the club won their first Serie A title in over a decade in the 2021-22 season.

He joined AC Milan from English Premier League soccer outfit Arsenal having been appointed by the club’s previous owners, the US hedge fund Elliott Management.

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Before joining Arsenal in 2009, Gazidis spent 14 years at MLS, latterly as deputy commissioner.

Gazidis said “I am delighted to join Kilmer Sports Ventures and look forward to building this new organization with Larry Tanenbaum.

“Larry Tanenbaum is one of the most important and influential leaders in the world of sports and I am honored and excited to be working with him.”

Tanenbaum added: “Ivan has had such an influential role in the development of football internationally, and I know his unparalleled experience and proven leadership will be invaluable.”