Bombers name interim CEO

Kirk Penton, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:01 PM ET

The Winnipeg Football Club has gone back to the business model that features a chief executive officer at the top.

The franchise named Ossama AbouZeid as its interim CEO on Wednesday. The search for a permanent boss is already underway, and AbouZeid will be considered if he wants the job, WFC chairman Bill Watchorn said.

The club hasn’t had a CEO since Lyle Bauer left for the Calgary Stampeders in December 2009.

“The CEO is a pretty traditional structure in any large operation, and we’re transitioning from a football club to a sports and entertainment business,” Watchorn said, noting the organization conducts several concerts each year.

AbouZeid, 62, originally joined the WFC last year as a board member and then became the project manager for the new stadium — a role he will continue to hold.

President Jim Bell, chief transition officer Jeff Thompson and general manager Joe Mack will report AbouZeid, whose mission is to ensure all three departments work well together.

“We have a great executive group,” AbouZeid said. “We’re moving into a very involved and very sophisticated business model, and we need those executive groups to be co-ordinated and integrated into the new business.

“Somebody has to be volunteered, and I got volunteered.”

AbouZeid has a 20-year history in design and construction management, and he is also the former president and chief financial officer of Winnipeg’s Buhler Industries.

Unlike Bauer, however, one thing AbouZeid won’t do is play a role in football operations. Asked what he was going to do to fix the offence, AbouZeid said with a laugh: “I will not volunteer for that.”


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