Arsenal is delighted to announce that after a thorough recruitment process, Ivan Gazidis has been appointed the new chief executive officer, taking up the position in January 2009.

Gazidis, 44, is presently Deputy Commissioner for Major League Soccer (MLS) in the USA where he provides vision on all the key strategic and business decisions made by the league and its marketing arm, Soccer United Marketing. He oversees all aspects of MLS competition, including negotiation of the transfer and employment contracts of all the players in the league, managing stadium events, security issues and player, coaching and refereeing matters.

In addition to his MLS duties, Mr Gazidis was the president of Soccer United Marketing’s international division between 2002 and 2006 where he developed and implemented winning strategies for the Mexican Soccer Federation and the CONCACAF Gold Cup as well as innovative new concepts such as American tours for the England national team, Barcelona and Real Madrid amongst others.

Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: “Ivan’s credentials are first class.  It is evident that he has a wealth of business acumen together with a broad knowledge of football that will not only help to maintain Arsenal’s pre-eminent standing but enhance our reputation within the football community and international commercial markets.”

Ivan Gazidis said:  “I have been privileged in my 14 years with MLS to have worked with and for some of the best sports executives and owners in the world, whose vision, commitment and expertise have taken the league from strength to strength and provided a solid platform for its future growth. I am delighted to be offered the opportunity to bring that experience to bear at Arsenal - a club rich in heritage and tradition - that is superbly positioned for success in the modern era. I relish the prospect of working with the key stakeholders to further propel the Club forward. It is nearly 16 years since I left the UK but I’m very much looking forward to returning in January.”

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26 Nov 2008