Fanatics Holdings, the global digital sports platform, has added Orlando Ashford to its team in the newly created role of chief people officer. In this role, he will work closely with the company’s three businesses — commerce, collectibles and betting and gaming — and will also oversee global human resources.
He will report to Fanatics’ chief executive officer Michael Rubin for matters involving culture, talent development, corporate communications, corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion, and to Fanatics’ chief financial officer Glenn H. Schiffman for human resources infrastructure, strategy, policies and operations. He will be based in New York City.
“Culture is everything and our success is directly related to our incredible associates based around the world. As we continue to grow and expand, it becomes even more important to double down on organizational development, and I can’t think of a better person to lead this charge than Orlando,” Rubin said. “His vast experience running HR teams and his CEO-level experience, with people and culture being the primary lens for how he’s managed and operated his businesses, will help us further develop our ambitions to build one of the world’s most transformative and exciting brands.”
Ashford has held senior HR roles at several companies including Marsh & McLennan, Cola-Cola and Motorola. Most recently, he was a strategic partner with private equity firm Sycamore Partners.
In addition to serving as a strategic adviser to the Fanatics executive team, Ashford will work to expand Fanatics’ diversity and inclusion efforts as well as its philanthropic initiatives which include the Fanatics Foundation.
“From the moment I met Michael Rubin and listened to his vision for expanding the Fanatics business, which was rooted in empowering the company’s incredible global workforce and creating a world-class culture, I knew that this was the perfect place for me,” Ashford said. “Fanatics is a special company, one that I’ve long admired, where I can take my energy and expertise to further establish a diverse, platform-wide company culture comprised of the best and brightest people that want to be a part of a once-in-a-generation company.”
In other Fanatics news, the company has expanded the ownership group of its Mitchell & Ness division. The streetwear and lifestyle brand was purchased in February by Fanatics along with Jay-Z, Maverick Carter, Meek Mill, the D’Amelio family and Lil Baby for an undisclosed sum. Earlier this week, some other bold-face names including LeBron James, Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, James Harden, Scooter Braun and Odell Beckham Jr., also invested in the brand.