The Pac-12 has found their new commissioner, the conference announced Thursday.
George Kliavkoff has been named the new leader of the league, a 54-year-old sports and entertainment executive with no college sports experience. He comes to the conference from MGM Resorts International, where he was the president of the company's sports and entertainment division.
“At each step of his career, George has navigated complex, quickly changing environments and has been a successful consensus builder. George is a visionary leader with an extraordinary background as a pioneering sports, entertainment and digital media executive, and we are delighted and honored that he has agreed to become our next Pac-12 Commissioner,” said University of Oregon President Michael H. Schill, chair of the five-member search committee. “He is the new prototype for a sports commissioner. While George has deep sports experience, his biggest asset is his ability to listen, connect with diverse groups, find common ground, collaborate and navigate an evolving landscape. We believe George’s overall skills and experience will become even more prevalent in college sports leadership.”
Kliavkoff has previously served on the Board of Governers of the WNBA as well as boards for MGN and Cirque du Soleil. He has worked previously for NBCUniversal and was part of the team that launched Hulu. Kliavkoff also has media experience with MLB Advanced Media and Hearst Entertainment & Syndication.
This will be Kliavkoff's first venture into college athletics on a full-time basis. He had a prior relationship with the league through managing the Pac-12 men's and women's basketball tournaments in Las Vegas as well as helping the football championship game move to Vegas's Allegiant Stadium in 2021 and '22.
Many folks believed that former XFL commissioner and Oliver Luck, who also served in an administrative roles for the NCAA as well as president of NFL Europe and the athletic director at West Virginia, would be the logical choice. However, word broke this morning that he was not the choice.
Kliavkoff replaces Larry Scott, whose 11-year run leading the league is set to come to an end in June. Interestingly enough, Scott also had no previous experience in college athletics prior to being tabbed the leader of the conference, and previously served as the CEO of the Women's Tennis Association.
During Scott's time leading the Pac-12 the conference expanded from 10 to 12 schools, and thus went through a transition from the Pac-10 to the Pac-12 after adding Utah and Colorado in 2011. The league also signed a $3 billion broadcasting deal with ESPN and FOX Sports in creating the PAC-12 Network under his guidance.
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