Coyotes name Xavier A. Gutierrez 1st Latino president, CEO in NHL history

Jun 8, 2020, 9:33 AM | Updated: 12:02 pm

(Courtesy Arizona Coyotes)

The Arizona Coyotes announced that business executive and investor Xavier A. Gutierrez is the team’s new president, CEO and alternate governor.

According to the team, he is the first Latino president and CEO in NHL history.

He replaces Ahron Cohen, who was the team’s president and CEO for slightly less than two years. Cohen assumed that role when Andrew Barroway was the team’s majority owner in July 2018. Since then, Alex Meruelo has taken majority share of the franchise, and Cohen and the team parted ways early last month.

Gutierrez most recently was managing director at Clearlake Capital Group, a private equity firm based in Santa Monica, Calif. He has more than 20 years of experience as a business executive and investor with emphases in corporate strategy, finance, operations and business development, according to the Coyotes. He also has served as the chief investment officer of the Meruelo Group and of Meruelo Investment Partners.

“I am very proud to name Xavier as the first Latino team President and CEO in NHL history,” Meruelo said in a press release.. “This is a historic day for the Coyotes and the entire NHL. I have known Xavier for over a decade, and he is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of business and investment experience. We share the same approach to business and his intellect, leadership skills and strategic mindset made him the clear choice to be our new CEO. He is a leader with tremendous vision and integrity, and I have the utmost confidence that he can help the Coyotes become a world class organization on and off the ice.”

While at the Meruelo Group, Gutierrez “oversaw investments and acquisitions, and was responsible for deal origination, underwriting, execution and capital sourcing,” per the Coyotes.

“I am extremely grateful to Mr. Meruelo for this opportunity to lead the Coyotes which he loves so dearly and honored to become the first Latino team President and CEO in NHL history,” said Gutierrez. “This is a very special and proud day for me, my wife Jericca, our son Xavi, and our entire extended family.

“Mr. Meruelo and I share the same vision to make the Coyotes a world class organization that is innovative in our efforts to connect with and grow our fan base, continue to be a leader in our community, and develop great relationships with our business partners. We want to build a financially stable and prosperous organization for the long term, and our ultimate goal is to bring a Stanley Cup to our great fans in Arizona. I’m very excited to get started.”

Gutierrez has also served as principal and managing director of Phoenix Realty Group and has worked at the Latham & Watkins law firm and Lehman Brothers, and was a financial analyst at the NFL’s league office. He has served on the Securities and Exchange Commission Advisory Committee on Small and Emerging Companies and was on the board of directors for Sizmek, an advertising tech firm.

Gutierrez graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in government from Harvard and got his J.D. from Stanford. He and his family live in Paradise Valley.

Arizona Coyotes

Alex Meruelo joins Burns & Gambo to discuss Coyotes move to Utah....

Arizona Sports

Alex Meruelo reportedly walking away from ownership of Arizona Coyotes

Alex Meruelo is reportedly walking away from ownership of the Arizona Coyotes with no plans to pursue a future arena.

3 hours ago

Florida Panthers forward Carter Verhaeghe (23) celebrates his goal with teammate Anton Lundell (15)...

Associated Press

Top Cats: Florida Panthers win their 1st Stanley Cup, top Edmonton Oilers in Game 7

The Florida Panthers are Stanley Cup champions for the first time, and they took about the hardest path possible to the title.

4 hours ago

Kevin Durant walking off court...

Dan Bickley

Is this year the worst in Arizona sports history?

After the Coyotes left, the Suns were swept, ASU hit rock bottom and the D-backs' bad luck, is this year the worst in Arizona sports history?

7 hours ago

Xavier Gutierrez, Arizona Coyotes president and CEO...

Arizona Sports

Tucson Roadrunners reverse course, won’t play 6 games at Tempe’s Mullett Arena

The Roadrunners announced they will play all of their home games in Tucson after previously saying six games would be played in Tempe.

8 hours ago

Arizona Coyotes owner Alex Meruelo joins Burns & Gambo in studio after team is sold to Utah group o...

Kevin Zimmerman

Alex Meruelo, Coyotes made it abundantly clear they don’t deserve an NHL return

Pro hockey does not belong in the desert. Not under Alex Meruelo, who has burned bridges with entities the Coyotes need to build a new arena.

12 hours ago


Arizona Sports Video

Video: Bickley Blast: Could this year be the worst in Arizona sports history?

Bickley Blast: Could this year be the worst in Arizona sports history? Dan Bickley argues it might.

17 hours ago

Coyotes name Xavier A. Gutierrez 1st Latino president, CEO in NHL history