Houston Dynamo executive Chris Canetti has been promoted from Chief Operating Officer to President of Business Operations, the Dynamo's majority owner, AEG, announced today.
Canetti becomes the second president in team history, succeeding Oliver Luck, who left the club at the end of June.
The new role will see Canetti expand his duties to oversee two of the Dynamo's most significant projects: the construction of a downtown stadium, set to open in 2012, and the completion of the Houston Amateur Sports Park, a facility that will serve as the Dynamo's training facility and provide fields available for public use.
At a press conference announcing his new title on Wednesday, Canetti announced he plans to start a fan advisory board, with which he will meet periodically to receive feedback and suggestions and provide relevant updates. Canetti has overseen all aspects of the Dynamo business and worked with head coach Dominic Kinnear on soccer operations since joining the organization during its inaugural season in 2006. He was honored with the Doug Hamilton Executive of the Year Award from Major League Soccer in 2008 and was named to Sports Business Journal's Forty under 40 list for 2010. He played a major role in helping bring Manchester United to Houston for the 2010 MLS All-Star Game, which was played before a sellout crowd that set a Reliant Stadium record for a soccer match.
"Our partners in Gabriel [Brener], Richard [Schafer], and Oscar [de la Hoya] actually were the most outspoken as to their confidence in Chris and we agree," said Tim Leiweke, President & CEO of AEG. "Even with everything we have on our plate, Chris hasn't missed a beat while filling some pretty big shoes following Oliver Luck's departure. It is clear that Chris continues to keep the best interests of the Dynamo fans first and foremost as he leads the organization into what will be the most exciting and important years in the history of this club."