A bit worrying news:
Management shake-up hits Bollettieri academy
By Anthony Cormier
Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 11:23 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 at 11:39 a.m.
BRADENTON - There has been a major shakeup at the top of IMG Academies, the world class sports training facility where four executives were fired or encouraged to resign in the last few weeks.
The deepest impact has come at the Bollettieri Tennis Academy, leaving some of the facility’s founders out of work.
Since December, tennis academy director Gabriel Jaramillo,
vice presidents Ted Meekma and Greg Breunich and chief financial officer 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.
IMG officials would not comment.
The tennis academy is considered the best, and most famous, in the world.
Bollettieri, the fiery coach behind the ascension of some of greatest players in tennis history, opened the boarding school in 1978 and quickly built it into a renowned facility that trained champions Maria Sharapova, Monica Seles and Andre Agassi.
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, Pete Sampras and others.
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.
The company bought and later resold Gulfstream Aerospace, Topps and Dr.Pepper.
As you guys know, Gabriel Jaramillo is the guy who spotted Kei's talent when he came to Japan, and helped Kei develop at the academy in various aspects. He also has been part of the team Project 45 as head coach. Remember how he looked happy when Kei beat Ferrer at USO and ran to his team.
Looks like it's part of a stupid restructuring bid by the company that bought IMG, but I hope this shakeup won't affect the athletes too much!