MN United announces new chief executive officer | KSTP.com

MN United announces new chief executive officer

Shari Ballard Photo: Courtesy of MNUFC. Shari Ballard

Tommy Wiita
Updated: August 10, 2021 03:56 PM
Created: August 10, 2021 03:46 PM

On Tuesday, Minnesota United announced that Shari Ballard will become the club's new chief executive officer at the end of the current season.

A longtime resident and respected leader in the Twin Cities community, the former Best Buy executive brings more than 25 years of experience across all aspects of building an outward-facing business into one of the nation's largest and most successful companies, according to a release.

"Shari is an extraordinary individual whose personal character, commitment to people and our community, passion for sports, and exceptional experience leading and working with others to grow and strengthen a locally-based, international company and brand is without reproach," said Bill McGuire, Minnesota United managing partner.

"Her accomplishments speak for themselves, and I am humbled and proud that the MNUFC family – still young but having already accomplished much, and with so many engaged and passionate individuals, outstanding corporate and community partners, the greatest fans in MLS today, and values that emanate from the great sport of soccer and its global lessons – is something that attracted her to help us realize even greater things and relevance in the future."

Ballard worked in Best Buy her entire professional career and retired in 2019 after holding the position of president of multichannel retail for Best Buy, responsible for all stores in the United States, e-commerce, Best Buy Mexico and the company's real estate strategy. Currently, she serves on the board of directors for Ecolab, the global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services; PetSmart, and Allina Health.

Ballard was named one of Fortune Magazine's "Fifty Most Powerful Women in Business" in 2011, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Ballard issued the following statement:

If you had told the 10-year-old version of me that I'd be asked to join a professional sports team and help them continue to build a winning organization, I would have been elated. It's no different today. I can't wait to get started. I am very appreciative of everything that has been done to develop Minnesota United as a competitive team playing the world's most popular sport here in our home state, but also as an important and valued asset for our community and its people. This is a truly inspiring organization – and one with a community-wide sense of pride and enthusiasm surrounding it. I'm honored to join a team that is explicit in its core values, and one that strives to provide something about which everyone can continue to be proud. It is a privilege to work at ensuring that we are a competitive and exciting team, that we continue to provide an exceptional experience for fans and all of those associated with MNUFC, and that we foster and build on our relationship with the fans and our vibrant, growing and diverse community.

Ballard will replace Chris Wright, who announced last month that he'll step down at the end of the season.


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