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

(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.

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