Peter Luukko had been with Comcast-Spectacor for more than 25 years. (AP)
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Comcast-Spectacor and Flyers president Peter Luukko, the heir-apparent to Ed Snider’s domain, shockingly resigned Monday to monetize his interest in the company and pursue other entrepreneurial activities.
“I found out this morning,” Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider told CSNPhilly.com.
“I’ve had better days and I was surprised, but at the same time, after having a discussion with Peter, I understand where he is coming from.”
Snider, who sounded stunned, said he always saw Luukko as his successor.
“Yep, but that would not have been up to me, it would have been up to Comcast,” Snider said. “Tough day for all of us here, but I wish Peter the best.”
Dave Scott, recently retired EVP and chief financial officer for Comcast Cable, will serve as acting president of Comcast-Spectacor.
In his statement released to the media, Snider said, “Peter has been an invaluable partner as we built Comcast-Spectacor into the phenomenal company that it has become.
“Peter’s leadership was key in helping us build the many businesses that enabled us to become a nationally recognized leader in sports and entertainment. His passion and dedication is legendary in our industry. Peter will be missed, and we wish him the best of luck in his next phase of life.”
Flyers coach Craig Berube seemed stunned, as well.
“A great guy, he was great to me,” Berube said. “I don’t know a lot about it. I consider him a friend.”
Luukko had been with Comcast-Spectacor for more than 25 years.
He was the executive who went out and found new business opportunities for the company and helped make Comcast-Spectacor the behemoth it has become in terms of sports facility management, sports ownership, ticketing and licensing.
He was the one that pitched for the Flyers' involvement in the Winter Classic and getting the NHL draft here this coming June. He brought collegiate hockey, wrestling and gymnastics to Wells Fargo Center.
He also played a role in bringing Philadelphia-based Global Spectrum to the Phoenix Coyotes to manage and operate Jobing.com Arena. That deal cemented the Coyotes' remaining in Glendale, Ariz.
“I found [Luukko],” Snider said. “And he moved right up [the ladder]. He’s done a phenomenal job of building the other businesses we have. Peter is an outstanding executive.”
There was some internet speculation that Luukko already has a job in line.
“If there is a job, he didn’t tell me that,” Snider said. “He owns a piece of the company called Comcast-Spectacor Ventures. Food concession company, ticketing company, the management company.
“He’ll cash out and do very well. I think he just wanted to explore. Peter is an entrepreneur. He wanted to take his time. He loves going to games with his son, Nick, up in Vermont. He also goes to Max’s games in Connecticut.”
Nick Luukko, a defenseman at Vermont, was the Flyers' sixth-round pick in 2010.
In a statement, Luukko said, “I want to thank Ed for the opportunities that he has given me to help build Comcast-Spectacor over the past 25 years.
“We have had a wonderful partnership, building a great company with a terrific management team. Now, I have decided that it is time for me to take advantage of the equity I have built up at Comcast-Spectacor and pursue other entrepreneurial interests.”
No one has been named to replace Luukko as Flyers president, and this is where it gets sticky. Luukko always was and remains a hockey guy. Luukko is visibly active in every hockey move the Flyers make through general manager Paul Holmgren. How that plays out remains to be seen. Who becomes Flyers president? For now, no one. Snider will handle Luukko’s duties.
“I’m going to have to step in at this point and do the things that have to be done at my end but that’s no different than it’s been,” Snider said.
“Peter has been there helping me in all this stuff and I asked him to step in as president. But we have Shawn Tilger who runs the business end and Paul who runs the hockey end.”
Does Tilger, who is considered the Flyers’ marketing guru, move up?
“Not at this time,” Snider replied. “This is all so new, that luckily, there was an executive at Comcast (Scott) that I found out this morning was willing to come over as acting president until we figure out what we’re doing.”
As chief financial officer of Comcast Cable, Scott was responsible for the cable division’s financial planning and strategy, accounting, procurement, and executive project management organization (EPMO); as well as oversight for the legal group.
“He just retired from Comcast and they unretired him,” Snider said.
Also, Gary Rostick will join Comcast-Spectacor as new CFO. Rostick was the senior VP of finance and business operations and CFO of Comcast Business Services.
All changes are effective immediately.