Ottawa

Sens hire CEO to run team's business, marketing

Jim Little, who has held prominent roles in the offices of Canadian banks, aerospace and communications companies, is the new CEO of the Ottawa Senators.

Jim Little comes from Shaw Communications

Jim Little, then the Royal Bank of Canada's chief brand and communications officer speaks to reporters after a news conference on June 16, 2011, in Hilton Head Island, S.C. (The Associated Press)

Jim Little, who has held prominent roles in the offices of Canadian banks, aerospace and communications companies, is the new CEO of the Ottawa Senators.

The team announced the hire in a news release on Friday.

The 55-year-old most recently worked for Shaw Communications as its chief marketing and cultural officer, as well as occupying an executive vice-president role.

Before that, he was an executive with Bell, Bombardier and the Royal Bank of Canada, according to the news release.

"An extensive search was conducted to find the right leader to guide the organization into the next decade.… Jim's wealth of experience and fresh perspective will strengthen the company's off-ice success, ushering in a new era for our club and fans," said Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in the release.

Re-establishing community ties

"I want to thank [Melnyk] for the confidence he has shown in me and for the clarity of the mandate to be creative, to engage fans, partners, business and civic leaders in getting this chemistry right for the long term," Little said.

He said Melnyk has made re-establishing "a strong, positive relationship with this community" a clear priority.

The Senators have made young stars Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk the focus of a marketing campaign trumpeting their up-and-coming team.

The hire comes during a season where the team is again in the bottom five of the league standings and, according to figures from HockeyDB.com, last in the league in average attendance at 11,732 fans a game.

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