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Ivan Gazidis officially leaves Arsenal to join Milan

Arsenal executive has been hired as CEO of Milan

Southampton v Arsenal - The Emirates FA Cup Fourth Round Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

AC Milan announced today that the club has hired Arsenal executive Ivan Gazidis as the club’s new CEO. The experienced football executive is scheduled to take over at Milan in December.

Per the club’s official website:

AC Milan brings on board a world-class football executive with a track record of sporting and commercial success across the globe. After playing a key role in founding Major League Soccer in the United States, in 2009 Mr. Gazidis went on to become Chief Executive Officer of the UK Premier League football club Arsenal. Under Mr. Gazidis’s leadership, London-based Arsenal football club enjoyed both on-field success and off-field prosperity. Arsenal won three FA cups during his tenure and reached the UEFA Champions’ League eight years in a row. Mr. Gazidis spearheaded exemplary growth initiatives, building Arsenal into a profitable publically traded company, with annual turnover having doubled to in excess of £400 million today and a staff of over 600 employees. The club’s global following now exceeds 85 million across its digital platforms.

Milan moving for Gazidis has been rumored since Elliott Management’s takeover of Milan in July, with Paul Singer having reportedly personally identified Gazidis as the executive he felt would best lead Milan forward.

Current Executive Chairman Paolo Scaroni, who had been retained on a temporary basis, said of Gazidis:

On behalf of the Board and the entire AC Milan community, we proudly welcome Ivan Gazidis to the club. The CEO role is one we have prioritised from day one of this project and one we have worked diligently upon to get right. Ivan Gazidis will bring an unparalleled level of business acumen and football industry experience to the club. He helped establish professional football in the United States; he brought Arsenal to new heights; and we can’t wait for him to get started here in Milan. The fundamentals are now in place for success, which we recognize will take time, hard work, and perseverance.

Under Gazidis’ time at Arsenal, the club achieved great financial growth and achieved unparalleled growth in the income and business side of the club. Under his leadership in MLS, he helped turn the growth of popularity of football, or as the Americans call it, “soccer,” into an extremely profitable enterprise at the helm of Soccer United Marketing, the business side of MLS. SUM profits off of friendlies and other broadcasts in the United States as a part of a partnership with USSF.

On joining Milan, Gazidis said:

I am very excited to take on this new challenge, and will do everything I can to secure AC Milan’s return to the top. I have a head start in this project thanks to the talented players, hard-working staff, and the sporting leadership of Leonardo De Araujo, Paolo Maldini and Gennaro Gattuso. I am grateful for the trust placed in me by Chairman Paolo Scaroni, the AC Milan board, and the club’s owners.

Hopefully Gazidis can bring some stability to the club’s finances while Leonardo and Paolo Madini help develop the players into a team that matches the ambition of the fans and owners.