John Cassaday

Report: John Cassaday to replace Tim Leiweke as MLSE president and CEO

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According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, John Cassaday appears to be the man to replace out-going Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment president and CEO Tim Leiweke.

Leiweke, who joined MLSE in April 2013 on a reported five-year contract, is scheduled to leave the company on June 30.

MLSE is the parent company of the Toronto Maple Leafs among others.

Cassaday recently retired as president and CEO of Toronto-based radio and television broadcaster, Corus Entertainment.

“Cassaday is a proven leader,” said a person close to the MLSE board told TSN’s Rick Westhead in October. “He has handled a publicly traded company in Corus, its board and family ownership issues flawlessly. He is stable. A sure hand on the tiller. And he’s mature and knows how to manage divisions and factions within a company. And he’s Canadian and probably is looking for a change before he retires.”

Westhead reports Cassaday’s deal with MLSE could be in the neighborhood of $2.5 million per year, plus bonuses on a three-year deal.

Former Madison Square Garden executive Hank Ratner, NHL executive John Collins and former CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon were all reportedly candidates for the job.

MLSE chairman Larry Tanenbaum told The Globe and Mail “We’re close” when asked about naming a replacement for Leiweke on Thursday.

Cassaday could be announced as early as next week.