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Soccer Balls and Crystal Balls: Real Madrid Hires Chief Transformation Officer to Forecast Future Challenges

By Sports Technology Wire on August 13, 2019

Spanish soccer powerhouse Real Madrid created a new C-suite position last month, hiring Silicon Valley veteran Michael Sutherland to be its chief transformation officer. Sutherland, a New Zealand native, has led teams at Fortune 500 companies (Hewlett-Packard) and startups (Yost Labs) while taking executive courses at Harvard Business School, M.I.T., and Stanford. Though Sutherland, 37, was reluctant to discuss specific plans so early in his tenure, he shared insights about industry trends and trajectories in advance of Real Madrid’s La Liga opener this weekend.

SPORTTECHIE: What will your role as chief transformation officer entail?

MICHAEL SUTHERLAND: It is a role that some of the more progressive companies around the world are starting to add to their executive suite. This is a step by Real Madrid—it’s a very progressive step—that says, ‘Look, we have been able to maintain our leadership position, and it’s not by chance. And now we’re thinking about not just how we maintain the leadership this year and next year, but we’re really thinking about the next decade and beyond.’

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