Clippers hire Gillian Zucker as president of business operations

Longtime motorsports executive Gillian Zucker, shown at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana in 2006 when she was president of track, has been named the Clippers' president of business operations.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Clippers announced Thursday that they had hired longtime motorsports executive Gillian Zucker as their new president of business operations, making her the second female chief executive or president in major U.S. professional sports along with the Lakers’ Jeanie Buss.

Zucker, who spent nine years as president of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, the largest race track on the West Coast, was named one of the five most powerful women in motorsports by MSN and Fox.

“I am extremely happy to add a leader like Gillian to our team,” Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in a statement. “Her clear and creative business vision, innovative approach to marketing and experience working in the Los Angeles sports market make her the perfect fit to lead the Clippers during this transcendent time.”


Zucker ran all aspects of the Auto Club Speedway’s business, including operations, ticketing, finance, communications and marketing. She also served on the International Speedway Corp. executive management team and oversaw the Chicagoland and Kansas speedways.

“What an exciting time to be part of the L.A. Clippers,” Zucker said in a statement. “There’s something special happening in this organization that has captured the attention of Los Angeles, the NBA and the nation. Steve Ballmer’s energy and enthusiasm is contagious and inspiring. We are just getting started.”

Zucker previously workd as assistant general manager of Durham Bulls, a triple-A minor league baseball team, and serves on the board of the California Chamber of Commerce.

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