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Pac-12 Conference names George Kliavkoff as next commissioner

Larry Scott’s replacement

Stanford v UCLA Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Pac-12 Conference announced on Thursday that George Kliavkoff, a sports entertainment executive of MGM Resorts, is the conference’s new commissioner.

“I am thrilled to be the Pac-12 Commissioner. This is a challenging time for intercollegiate athletics, but I believe these challenges also create significant opportunities,” Kliavkoff said in a Pac-12 release. “I loved being a student-athlete, and I’m passionate about the doors that college sports and higher education open for young women and men. My job at the Pac-12 will be to help manage the balance between continued academic excellence, student-athlete well-being and an even higher level of athletic achievement.”

Kliavoff will start his five-year contract on July 1. He was supported in a unanimous vote of the Pac-12 presidents and chancellors.

Outside of being president of entertainment and sports for MGM Resorts International (2018-21), he also was a member of the WNBA’s Board of Governors (2018-21), a board member of A+E Networks (2013-16), co-president of Hearst Entertainment and Syndication (2009-16), a Hulu Board Member and Interim CEO (2007-08), the chief digital officer of NBC Universal Media (2006-08), and the executive vice president of business for MLB Advanced Media (2003-06).

Kliavoff fills the void left by Larry Scott. It was announced in January that Scott would be stepping down from his position and his tenure will end on June 30.

Oregon President Michael Schill led the five-member search committee, along with Washington President Ana Mari Cauce, Washington State President Kirk Schulz, Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano and USC President Carol Folt.

“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,” Schill said in the release.

“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.”

Others believed to be in contention for the job included Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith, Clemson Athletic Director Dan Radakovich and former NCAA Senior Administrator Oliver Luck.

What are your thoughts about choosing Kliavoff for the position?