TurnkeyZRG Adds Former 76ers/Nets General Manager to Roster

February 14, 2024 – TurnkeyZRG has named Billy King as managing director in the private equity group and the sports group. “Too many search firms today are really just sales firms,” said Len Perna, chairman and CEO of TurnkeyZRG. ”Talent recruitment is supposed to be about building winning teams. Billy King at Duke, Billy King as a coach, Billy King in the NBA, and Billy King in his personal journey has always had a knack for spotting talent, getting the most out of talent and creating winning teams with the exact right talent choices. TurnkeyZRG is blessed to have Billy join our team.”

“We are thrilled to have Billy participate in the private equity team at ZRG,” said Rich Herman, managing partner and global private equity practice leader at ZRG Partners. “His combination of sports and business expertise coupled with his incredible professional network will allow us to continue to drive opportunities to help our private equity clients leverage talent to drive value across their portfolios.”

Mr. King has over two decades of experience in sports and entertainment. He served as general manager of the Philadelphia 76ers from 1998-2003 and president and general manager from 2003-2007 and the Nets from 2010-2016. Prior to his time with the Philadelphia 76ers, Mr. King served as an assistant coach of the Indiana Pacers for four seasons. He was also an assistant coach at Illinois State University from 1989-1993. Mr. King is a graduate of Duke University where he played basketball under legendary coach, Mike Krzyzewski. Billy was captain of the Duke basketball team in 1988 and was a part of the 1986 and 1988 Final Four teams.

“Coach K taught me a long time ago that teams are about trusting each other and working together,” Mr. King said. “You have to have each other’s back in order to succeed as a team. Talent recruitment and the chance to help our clients build high functioning, winning teams is my passion. Doing this now with TurnkeyZRG, the top search firm in the industry, is thrilling. I’ll do my best to make us better and make our clients better.”

During his career, Mr. King was co-host of The WIP Morning Show in Philadelphia while also serving as a studio analyst for NBATV. Along with his radio and TV hosting duties, he was president of Elfus Sports, where he worked as an agent for basketball coaches and general managers. In addition, Mr. King was the president of ReachMe Sports, a division of ReachTV based in Los Angeles. ReachTV is a multi-channel multi-platform network that has a reach of 100 million viewers. Mr. King currently serves on the board of directors for USA Field Hockey, Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, and Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

“With over 20 years’ experience working in the NBA, Billy has built a vast network in and outside the sports world,” said Marc Lasry, co-founder and CEO of Avenue Capital Group and former owner of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. “Now partnering with TurnkeyZRG, together they’ll provide unparalleled service.”

Current Big 12 Commissioner and former CEO of Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment Brett Yormark said: “TurnkeyZRG is the best search firm in the business. Now they’re bringing in a perennial All-Star in Billy King. It’s a championship combination – tough to beat,” he said. “Billy has decades of hands-on practitioner experience with players, coaches, GMs, business side, etc. I’ve worked closely with Billy, Len, Chad Chatlos and their whole team. There’s nobody better at identifying and recruiting top talent.”

Related: TurnkeyZRG Places Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as Next Head of NCAA

“I am so excited to join ZRG Partners and TurkeyZRG for their experience in the private equity and sports space,” said Mr. King. “The proprietary technology and data they have will on enhance my institutional knowledge.”

TurnkeyZRG Assists Big Ten Conference in Recruiting Seventh Commissioner
Following an extensive national search, TurnkeyZRG has assisted in the recruitment of Tony Petitti as the seventh commissioner of the Big Ten Conference. He will begin his tenure on May 15. He replaces Kevin Warren, who is becoming president and CEO of the Chicago Bears. TurnkeyZRG conducted a comprehensive and inclusive recruitment process that delivered a diverse slate of potential candidates from within collegiate athletics, professional sports, media, government, and more. “Tony Petitti is a great fit with the Big Ten,” said Len Perna, chairman and CEO of TurnkeyZRG. “On top of that, another way to look at Tony’s hire is holistically across college athletics, meaning that Tony is a key puzzle piece on the macro team: Charlie Baker, Greg Sankey, etc. That macro team has to figure out a bunch of big, vexing, complex issues in college athletics. Tony’s experience is complimentary and additive to the other key players on THAT macro team. That’s not by accident,” he said.

Founded in 1996, TurnkeyZRG is a specialized talent recruitment/executive search firm filling C-level, senior-level and mid-management-level positions throughout sports, media and entertainment. Over the past 25 years, the firm has filled more than 1,400 positions. TurnkeyZRG helps teams, leagues, stadiums, arenas, theaters, college athletic departments, events, sponsors, agencies, media companies, private equity companies and other clients identify, recruit, and hire the best management talent.

International Growth

Last fall, TurnkeyZRG added George Williams as managing director, U.K. and Europe. In addition to serving as a driving force in TurnkeyZRG international expansion into the European market, Mr. Williams collaborates closely with ZRG’s Sucherman division to further support its growth within the region as well. Based in London, Mr. Williams has a 15-year track record in executive search, with a primary focus on the sports and media sector. Prior to joining TurnkeyZRG, he served as partner at Savannah Group, where he played a pivotal role in developing and expanding the organization’s sport and media practice throughout Europe. His career has also included a stint at Odgers Berndtson, where as an associate he supported the establishment of the sports practice.

Throughout his career, Mr. Williams has orchestrated high-profile appointments for sports and media organizations, placing board members, directors, senior managers, chief executive officers, and various C-suite executives. His clients spans a wide spectrum of the sport and media ecosystem, including sports rights holders, international broadcasters, global sports leagues, production companies, esports organizations, OTT streaming platforms, European football clubs, Formula One teams, and private equity groups.

Related: TurnkeyZRG Recruits CEO for the United States Soccer Federation

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Executive Editor; Lily Fauver, Senior Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

Share This Article


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments