Jan 14, 2009

IMG Academies' top execs fired including Gabriel Jaramillo who discovered Kei Nishikori

Herald Tribune reported a major restructuring is going on at the top of IMG Academies, the world renowned sports training facility.

The deepest impact has come at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy, leaving some of the facility’s founders jobless.

Four top executives were either fired or encouraged to resign since December. They include
tennis academy director Gabriel Jaramillo, VPs Ted Meekma and Greg Breunich and CFO Jeff McNeil were asked to leave.

Each man was given severance pay, according to Jaramillo‘s attorney, and signed nondisclosure and no-compete contracts that prohibit them from coaching tennis or speaking publicly about the changes. 

As this makes room for people to move up the corporate ladder, this could also mean there will be some entry level positions available for recent graduates from sports management collegesIMG officials refused to comment yet.

Meekma and Bruenich started as tennis instructors who worked side-by-side with Bollettieri since the early years of the academy.

Jaramillo also started as an instructor and worked his way to the head of the academy while training dozens of top players, including Agassi, Sharapova and Pete Sampras. He is the guy who spotted the talent in Kei Nishikori when he was in Japan.

In 1987, Bollettieri joined IMG to open the multi-sport academies in west Manatee County, on 300 acres of former tomato fields. IMG now trains thousands of athletes in sports from golf to basketball.

An investment firm, Forstmann Little & Co., acquired IMG — an international sports and entertainment marketing company — in 2004 for $750 million.

Forstmann Little has a history of cutting costs to make its acquisitions more profitable before reselling them.

Hopefully the restructuring process taking place would not affect the players.


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