The Canadian Football league (CFL) has named Randy Ambrosie, a former player and successful financial services executive, as its 14th commissioner.
Ambrosie's hiring was formally announced at a morning news conference Wednesday in downtown Toronto. He replaces Jeffrey Orridge, who stepped down as commissioner last month after about two years on the job. Board chairman Jim Lawson had been serving as interim commissioner since Orridge's departure.
Upon retiring from football, Ambrosie became the North American head of sales at HSBC Securities. In 2004, he joined AGF Management Ltd. as its head of sales and marketing and two years later was appointed president of AGF Funds Inc. After serving as president and CEO of Accretive 360 Inc. from 2010 to 2012, Ambrosie joined investment dealer MacDougall MacDougall & MacTier as president and CEO.
Ambrosie, a 54-year-old native of Winnipeg, inherits a league facing key issues including lacklustre fan support in Toronto and aging facilities in Calgary. He said he wants to take a team-by-team approach to identifying problems the league can help solve.
"I want to help each team work on the things that are absolutely important to them," Ambrosie said. "The teams are our clients, we have to find a way to support them. In Calgary, it might be working with them on the stadium. In other communities, it will be other challenges."
Ambrosie, who was a finalist for the commissioner's position when Orridge was hired, played nine CFL seasons as an offensive lineman with Calgary, Toronto and Edmonton, winning a Grey Cup his final season with the Eskimos in 1993.
He also served with the CFL Players' Association during his playing days.
Photo: Danny Gibson/CFL