CEO Talk with Cyril Leeder
The Ottawa Board of Trade and Ottawa Business Journal are excited to host a special edition of CEO Talk with Cyril Leeder, newly announced President and CEO of the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, November 7 at Kinaxis! Ever want to peek inside the mind of a CEO? Network with Ottawa's business community, reconnect with your Ottawa Senators, and hear from their CEO about his role, the future of the team, and so much more.
Cyril Leeder, President and CEO, Ottawa Senators
Cyril Leeder returned to Senators Sports & Entertainment on Sept. 22, 2023, when he was named president and chief executive officer. Leeder joined the Senators after spending five years as the first-ever CEO of the Myers Automotive Group where he presided over the operations and long-term strategies for the Ottawa-based company, including 17 dealership locations and close to 1,000 employees.
Prior to his time with Myers, Leeder had a decorated career with the Senators. He served as president from 2009 to 2017; he previously served as chief operating officer of the Ottawa Senators and Canadian Tire Centre and has been with the organization since its return to the NHL in 1992.
Born and raised in Brockville, Ont., Leeder graduated from McMaster University with a bachelor of commerce degree, summa cum laude. He then articled with the accounting firm of Clarkson Gordon (now EY) in Ottawa, where he obtained his chartered accountant’s designation. He was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in July 2009, the highest designation with the Institute. In 1984 he went to work for Ottawa entrepreneur Bruce Firestone. While working with Firestone, Leeder held a number of positions and responsibilities within the organization until he was named president in 1987 and served as chief executive officer from 1988 to 1992. On Dec. 6, 1990, the NHL Board of Governors awarded an NHL franchise to the group led by Firestone, Leeder and colleague Randy Sexton. The announcement coincided with the birth of the modern day Senators.
Leeder was a founding member of the Ottawa Community Ice Partnership, which developed and built the Bell Sensplex in Kanata and the Richcraft Sensplex in Beacon Hill in partnerships established with the City of Ottawa. Leeder also spearheaded the public-privatepartnership with the City of Ottawa for the development of the Cavanagh Sensplex in nearby Kinburn, Ont. and the SENS RINK of Dreams at Ottawa City Hall.
Leeder was a key member of Senators’ bid team that was awarded the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship and served as the record-breaking event’s vice-chair of the host organizing committee. Leeder has worked closely on other major event bids on behalf of the nation’s capital, including the 2012 NHL All-Star Weekend, the 2005 and 2008 NHL Entry Drafts, the 2013 IIHF World Women’s Championship, the 2003 and 2012 Juno Awards, the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup of soccer, and the 2008-2009-2010-2013-2014 CIS Final 8 Men’s Basketball Championship.
Leeder has received numerous community awards, including the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce 2008 Business Person of the Year Award, the Max Keeping Foundation and Sens Foundation 2008 Just One Person award; the Celebrity Sports Dinner’s 2008 Brian Kilrea Award and the Ottawa Tourism’s 2006 Tourism Leader of the Year. On June 6, 2012, he was inducted into the Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame and on June 14, 2013, he was inducted into the Brockville Sports Hall of Fame. Cyril resides in Ottawa with his wife, Lydia, and they have three children, daughter, Ciera, and sons, Dillon and Tyler
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