September 19, 2023 – TurnkeyZRG has expanded with the addition of 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 will collaborate closely with ZRG’s Sucherman division to further support its flourishing growth within the region as well. “TurnkeyZRG is excited to welcome George to lead the charge for the firm’s presence in the U.K. and Europe,” said Len Perna, founder and CEO of TurnkeyZRG. “His extensive experience, industry knowledge, and collaborative approach make him an invaluable addition to the team as we continue to provide top-tier executive search and talent advisory services to our clients worldwide.”
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.
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“As the connectivity between the U.S. and European sport and media industries grows ever stronger, there is a natural opportunity to provide industry leading talent solutions to clients on both sides of the Atlantic,” said Mr. Williams. “I am delighted to have the chance to lead TurnkeyZRG’s expansion in the region and support clients’ talent objectives at this exciting time in the sector.”
Serving Sports, Media and Entertainment Organizations
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.
Recruiting Entrepreneur Makes Seven-Figure Investment in ZRG
ZRG, a leading search firm backed by private equity firm RFE Investment Partners, has elected Hamilton Bradshaw CEO James Caan to its board of directors. Mr. Caan has made a personal seven-figure investment in the company. “We are thrilled to add James Caan to our board of directors,” said CEO Larry Hartmann. “He brings a global aspect to our board that is important as we continue our expansion. James will be a valuable resource to me in my role as CEO as someone who has successfully grown and scaled a global recruitment business. I look forward to his involvement in our future growth.”
Mr. Caan is considered a leading recruitment entrepreneur, having founded and exited talent solutions company Alexander Mann Solutions, and Humana International, which he grew to 147 offices across 30 countries. He also serves as chairman of the Start-up Loans Company, creating over 28,000 businesses to stimulate entrepreneurship in the U.K.
Collectively, the members of TurnkeyZRG have placed coaches and athletics directors at many PAC-12 universities, including Arizona, Cal, UCLA, USC, Utah, Washington, and Washington State. Late last year, TurnkeyZRG helped the ACC hire its next commissioner, James J. Phillips, the Combe Family vice president for athletics and recreation at Northwestern University. TurnkeyZRG spoke with stakeholders across the ACC in developing the job description, and assembled a diverse array of candidates across sports, education, business, and government.
Mr. Perna is the founder, chairman, and CEO of Turnkey. He has 30-plus years’ experience in the sports and entertainment industry, with senior-level management experience in sales, event marketing and management, sponsorships, venue feasibility and development, facility operations, licensing, and legal affairs. Since founding Turnkey, Mr. Perna has managed over 1,400 executive searches.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media