Line change: OSEG sports president Jeff Hunt stepping down

Jeff Hunt

In another major executive shakeup, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group sports president Jeff Hunt said Tuesday morning that he plans to leave his current role at the end of the year.

Hunt, the longtime owner of the Ottawa 67’s hockey club and one of OSEG’s founders and partners, is stepping away from his role as president to “explore other entrepreneurial opportunities” but will remain on the board and in various governor roles within the organization.

“I’m an entrepreneur and marketer at heart,” said Hunt in a statement.

“The day-to-day operations of a business is not my favorite thing. We have many strong business people at OSEG and they don’t need me checking up on them.”

Ten years ago, Hunt partnered with Minto’s Roger Greenberg, Trinity Development’s John Ruddy, Ottawa Fury FC’s John Pugh and Bill Shenkman to launch OSEG. The organization spearheaded the Lansdowne Park redevelopment and launched the Ottawa Redblacks CFL franchise, uniting the venue and three clubs under the OSEG banner.

Jeff Hunt
Jeff Hunt, outside Lansdowne Park during its reconstruction. (OBJ file photo)

Before OSEG, Hunt ran the professional carpet cleaning business Canway, growing it to more than 250 locations in North America over the course of 13 years. He sold that business in 1997, the year before purchased the Ottawa 67’s.

Hunt says he plans to share his experiences in business with the next generation of entrepreneurs.

“It’s a great feeling when you help launch a successful business. I’ve had a lot of success with that over the years, learned a lot of lessons along the way, and I’d be happy to help other companies and entrepreneurs by sharing my experiences with them,” he stated.

Hunt’s departure is the second major shakeup at the top in recent months for OSEG. CEO Bernie Ashe announced in January that he’d retire at the end of this month, with current chief operating officer and CFO Mark Goudie filling his shoes.

The revitalized Lansdowne Park has struggled to turn a profit in its first two years of operation, with net losses of $27 million on $93 million in revenue. In a January interview with OBJ, Goudie conceded that it’s been a slow start for the development, but that sparking renewed interest in the 67’s and attracting more annual events to the venue were two angles the organization would pursue.

There’s been no announcement made yet on who will replace Hunt as OSEG’s sports president, nor Goudie in his COO and CFO roles.