XFL hires nine executives as league prepares for ‘highly anticipated’ return in 2023

The XFL and its ownership group, consisting of Dany Garcia, Dwayne Johnson and RedBird Capital Partners, have added nine executives as the league prepares for its highly anticipated return to the field in 2023.

Joining and returning to the league are:

Russ Brandon, president, league and football operations
Rob Gerbe, chief financial officer
Jordan Schlachter, chief business officer
Janet Duch, chief marketing and content officer
Marc Ross, executive vice president, football operations
Doug Whaley, senior vice president, player personnel
Scott Harniman, senior vice president, enterprise technology
Jay Rothman, senior vice president, broadcast operations
Cindy Wagner, senior vice president, people operations

“These exceptional and talented executives encompass a deep skill set that aligns with our commitment to delivering an exceptional football universe experience, as well as our shared passion for bringing the XFL back stronger than before,” Dany Garcia, XFL chairwoman and co-owner, said in a statement.

“Our team’s experience across varying professional sports leagues and brands will enable us to deliver an experience for our fans, athletes and partners that represents today’s evolution of ‘best-in-class’. A tremendous amount of work has already been done with more exciting news to come as we prepare for 2023.”

Brandon is a longtime NFL veteran, holding various positions within the Buffalo Bills organization for over 20 years. Before joining the XFL, Russ worked as an executive advisor to RedBird Capital partners for its investment in the XFL. Prior to that, Russ was most recently managing partner and president of the Bills, president and alternate governor on the Sabres and chief operating officer of Pegula Sports and Entertainment, managing all aspects of the day-to-day business and administrative operations of the three entities.

In his new role as president, Brandon will manage day-to-day operations of the league while directing strategic planning for business and football operations on both the league and team levels.

Gerbe joins the XFL as chief financial officer, where he will oversee financial operations of the league and its teams to provide strategic financial insights on all facets of the business. He will lead all financial and accounting matters, including reporting, planning and forecasting, to drive analytical decision making, support revenue growth, cost management and profitability metrics.

Gerbe joins the XFL most recently from the NBA, where he served as senior vice president, team and labour finance. He will report to Brandon.

Schlachter is returning to the XFL as chief business officer, overseeing business partnerships, sponsorship revenue and relationships, licensing, merchandising distribution, and media partner business and sales.

Schlachter joined the XFL in April 2019, where he served as the chief marketing and commercial officer. In this role, he managed nearly all non-ticketing revenue sources, marketing functions and communications for the league and its eight teams. He negotiated the league’s most significant partnerships, including those with Bud Light Seltzer and Progressive Insurance, created the first-ever football helmet sticker sponsor program. Schlachter will report to Brandon.

Duch returns to the XFL as the league’s chief marketing and content officer where she will lead marketing, digital and business intelligence functions. She is responsible for the development of campaigns, content and experiences across all platforms and the data insights used to enhance fan engagement and maximize opportunities for business growth.

Additionally, Duch oversees the XFL’s ticketing strategy and game day operations across each team market, while also building out the league’s team services function. She joined the XFL in 2019 as the president of the New York Guardians, while also overseeing performance marketing for the league and its eight teams. Duch will report to Brandon.

Ross joins the XFL as executive vice president of football operations, where he is responsible for all aspects of football operations, including rules and gameplay, logistics and league planning, as well as innovation, data and analytics. He has over 20 years of professional football experience working across both league and team levels within the NFL. Ross is also a current analyst on NFL Network and will report to Brandon.

Whaley returns to the XFL as senior vice president of player personnel, where he will oversee player scouting, recruiting, compensation, growth and career development. He first joined the XFL in 2018 as senior vice president of football operations, where he assisted in the all aspects of creating of the eight-team spring football league and rules innovation. Whaley brings over 20 years of NFL player personnel and football executive experience and will report to Ross.

Harniman returns to the XFL as senior vice president, enterprise technology and is responsible for all functions of information technology and overseeing the XFL’s technology strategy, infrastructure buildout and delivering best-in-class systems to support the entire league. In addition, he will shape the football technology program by promoting innovation across emerging platforms and will report to Brandon.

Rothman joins the XFL as senior vice president, broadcast operations where he will oversee all broadcast operations with our partners, administration and game productions including, original programming, studio production and event coverage. He brings over 30 years of live event and studio production experience to the league, most recently working at ESPN as vice president of production and will report to Brandon.

Wagner returns to the XFL as senior vice president, people operations where she is responsible for establishing human resources and administrative functions while also providing strategic leadership to develop a world-class organization that promotes a culture of inclusivity, growth and innovation. She first joined the league in 2019 as senior director of people and culture and will report to Brandon.