CF Montreal's president and CEO Kevin Gilmore stepping down

CF Montreal president/CEO Kevin Gilmore. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A bombshell dropped within the CF Montreal organization on Tuesday: Kevin Gilmore, president and CEO of the organization since 2019, is leaving the team, and this immediately.

The news was announced by way of a press release mid-afternoon. The announcement comes just over 24 hours before a key game for the CF Montreal against the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night at Saputo Stadium.

Gilmore will continue to act as a consultant to the organization, "focusing on special issues until the end of this season," the release said.

"The past 18 months have been very difficult, both in terms of the pandemic and the club, and very challenging personally for me and my family. This ultimately led to my decision to leave the organization," Gilmore said in the official release.

"I am very grateful for my time with CF Montreal and thank the club's owners, board of directors and team for the opportunity to work with them," Gilmore, who was hired on Jan. 21, 2019, also said.

Under Gilmore's leadership, the official statement said, CF Montreal has transformed into a franchise that recruits and develops young talent by integrating them into a structure that fosters both individual and team success.

During his tenure, Gilmore helped the CF Montreal through the COVID-19 pandemic, including managing the risks and challenges of hosting away games, it said.

“We are very proud of Kevin’s contributions towards the on-field direction of the team and the realignment of the technical team," said the CF Montreal Board of Directors. "We have enjoyed many successes under Kevin’s leadership and he had a positive contribution on the overall performance of the club. We fully understand and support Kevin’s decision to step down. On behalf of the organization, we thank Kevin for his service and wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

According to Patrick Vallée, director of communications and broadcasting for CF Montreal, there will be no interim and the process is already underway to find a successor to Gilmore. In addition, Vallée said that Gilmore will not be giving interviews to the media.

Vallée also indicated that Joey Saputo, Chairman of the Board, has no intention of taking over from Gilmore.

Furthermore, according to Vallée, Saputo is not ruling out the possibility of holding a press conference to discuss Gilmore's departure.

However, nothing is planned for this week, to avoid overshadowing the two crucial games that await CF Montreal, Wednesday night against Houston and Sunday afternoon against Orlando City, at Saputo Stadium.

If Montreal CF wins both games, they will be in the MLS playoffs.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Nov. 2, 2021.

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