Fanatics, a global digital sports platform, announced the appointment of highly regarded executive Orlando Ashford to the newly created role of Chief People Officer (CPO) at Fanatics Holdings. In this position, Orlando will work closely with the company’s three distinct businesses – Commerce, Collectibles and Betting & Gaming, while managing global human resources for the company.
Orlando will directly oversee the HR team within Fanatics Holdings and will have a dual reporting role into both Fanatics CEO Michael Rubin; for matters including culture, talent development, corporate communications, corporate social responsibility as well as all diversity and inclusion, and Fanatics CFO Glenn H. Schiffman; for matters including total rewards and HR 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,” said Rubin. “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 brings a wealth of expertise to Fanatics and possesses a unique skillset that includes leading both businesses and global HR organizations focused on culture, talent development and retention. He has held senior level HR roles with several Fortune 500 companies, including Marsh & McLennan Companies, The Coca-Cola Company, and Motorola, Inc., before expanding his responsibilities beyond HR to become President of the Holland America Line. Prior to joining Fanatics, Orlando was a Strategic Advisor to Sycamore Partners, a private equity company specializing in retail and consumer investment, where he served as a thought leader, confidant and coach to senior executives on human capital and business issues with the Board, C-suite and HR functions.
In addition to his role as CPO and strategic advisor to the Fanatics executive team at large, Orlando will focus on expanding and advancing efforts across Fanatics’ principles of diversity and inclusion, as well as energizing philanthropic initiatives across the global workforce, including oversight of 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,” said Ashford. “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.”
Orlando is a highly sought-after board member; he serves as board chairman of Perrigo Company and sits on the board of Syndio, a progressive HR technology products company. He has a personal philanthropic involvement as a member of the Orange Bowl Committee. Orlando holds a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Industrial Technology from Purdue University.