Tom Wilson, President Emeritus of Olympia Entertainment and a trail blazer in the sports and live entertainment industry, will retire from Ilitch Companies at the end of 2020. Wilson has most recently led strategic, operational, and business development projects across 313 Presents, Olympia Entertainment, the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Tigers. Previously, for nine years, Wilson was the President and Chief Executive Officer of Olympia Entertainment.
“As a highly respected leader in the entertainment industry, Tom’s name has been, for decades, synonymous with world-class events. His expertise and vision have helped shape the way that guests from all around the world experience the exhilaration of sports, concerts, and other live events,” said Chris Granger, Group President, Sports and Entertainment, at Ilitch Holdings. “Tom has created a lasting legacy, and we are grateful for his dedication and friendship. We wish him all the best.”
Prior to Olympia Entertainment, Wilson had a highly successful 32-year career with the Detroit Pistons, including 22 years as president and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment, Inc. Wilson oversaw the Detroit Pistons and the organization’s three venues: The Palace, DTE Energy Music Theatre and Meadow Brook Music Festival. He was a leader in supporting the successful transition of major Detroit events from The Palace and Joe Louis Arena to Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit.
“Throughout his tenure, Tom has been an incredible asset to our organization. His inspiring and collaborative leadership style played an integral role in the development and opening of the innovative Little Caesars Arena in The District Detroit,” said Chris Ilitch, President and CEO, Ilitch Holdings, Inc. “I am thankful for his invaluable contributions and partnership over the years.”
“Time has flown by and I have certainly been blessed,” said Tom Wilson. “I am so grateful for the wonderful experiences I have been so fortunate to have had in sports, entertainment and media. From the NBA championships with the Pistons, the opening of The Palace, to the incredible opportunity to open the world class Little Caesars Arena in my hometown of Detroit – it has been a dream journey. The most rewarding part has been the relationships and friendships established. I especially want to express my gratitude and thank Mike and Marian Ilitch, and Chris Ilitch, for bringing me downtown ten years ago to transition the iconic Red Wings franchise to Little Caesars Arena, and to Bill Davidson in believing in me early on in my career to run his sports and entertainment properties. What I will miss most is the one-on-one time with our colleagues, with our guests, the passionate fans, our corporate community and so many more. I feel very fortunate and my journey has been nothing short of amazing. Now, I’m walking into a different time in my life, and I can truly say, I’m excited for what this new chapter may bring. To everyone I say, ‘thank you’.”