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Former Tampa Bay Lightning COO Sean Henry is named president of the Predators



Sean Henry, one of the Tampa Bay Lightning's longest-serving executives, will be the new president of the Predators, beginning Sept. 7. The move comes several weeks after the Lightning named Tod Leiweke its new chief executive officer, a job for which it is believed Henry had been considered.

The move ends Henry's 11-year association with the organization that began in June 1999 under then-owners Palace Sports & Entertainment. As chief operating officer for the Lightning and St. Pete Times Forum, Henry helped build the arena into one of the nation's busiest. He resigned in November 2008 as part of a restructuring under then-owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie, but resurfaced as a full-time consultant.

Henry was instrumental in helping run the business side of the organization after Jeff Vinik bought the team in March from Koules and Barrie and launched a nationwide search for a CEO. Vinik, last month at Leiweke's introductory news conference, agreed Henry had been a "good soldier."

Here is the announcement from the team:

Sean Henry, who has worked for the Tampa Bay Lightning in different capacities for the past 11 years, is leaving the team to become President of the Nashville Predators, it was announced today. Henry will also serve as Chief Operating Officer for the team and the Bridgestone Arena. He will begin his new position with the Predators on September 7. Henry has most recently worked with the Lightning as a full-time consultant, serving Governor and Chairman Jeff Vinik and new Chief Executive Officer Tod Leiweke since Vinik’s purchase of the Lightning and the leasehold rights to the St. Pete Times Forum.

“It’s difficult for us to see Sean leave the organization, but the Predators are giving him a great opportunity to advance his career,” said Leiweke this afternoon. “And while I know the Lightning and the Tampa Bay community will miss Sean and his significant contributions, we stand cheering for him and his family as they embark on this next great journey in their lives.”

Henry joined the Lightning in the summer of 1999 after William Davidson purchased the team. He eventually became Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the club and the St. Pete Times Forum, overseeing the revenue-generating departments, arena management and operations. His role evolved into a consultancy after Davidson sold the Lightning and he was appointed to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization during a transition period after Vinik’s purchase of the club.

“The past 11 years in Tampa Bay have been phenomenal for me with so many incredible personal memories and relationships forged,” said Henry upon accepting the position in Nashville. “I’d like to thank Ron Campbell and Tom Wilson for offering me the opportunity to grow with the Lightning and also Jeff Vinik, Jac Sperling and Tod Leiweke for allowing me to pursue the position with the Predators, and then for helping facilitate a seamless transition for the good of both organizations.”

Henry will remain with the Lightning on a full-time basis through August 20 and then on an as-needed basis through the end of August.

“I’d like to personally thank Sean for all of his contributions to the organization, especially for helping us through the transition process of the last several months,” said Jeff Vinik, who purchased the Lightning on March 3, 2010. “The business is much better positioned now because of Sean’s hard work during the transition.”

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 12:15am]


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