LAFC announced today that Tom Penn is stepping away from the Club President role to become the CEO of Co.Protect, a new business venture he recently co-founded, which provides branded protective equipment to LAFC, Major League Soccer and other sports leagues, companies and municipal organizations.
Penn will remain engaged with LAFC as an Executive Consultant. The Club also announced that LAFC’s Chief Business Officer, Larry Freedman, and EVP of Soccer Operations & General Manager, John Thorrington, will share the role of interim president.
“We are grateful to Tom for his tremendous contributions to LAFC and we wish him good luck as he moves on to his new ventures,” said LAFC Lead Managing Owner Larry Berg. “From the beginning, Tom had a clear vision of what LAFC would mean to the city of Los Angeles and it is incredible to see that dream being realized. The tremendous success that the Club has achieved is a result of the strength and quality of the team Tom assembled, and I am confident that he is leaving the organization in a position to accomplish even greater things in the near future.”
Penn, who was named the 2018 Los Angeles Sports Council Executive of the Year, helped LAFC make history both on and off the field during his tenure. Under Penn, LAFC burst onto the Los Angeles sports scene with a record-breaking expansion season in 2018 followed by a historic second year where the Club won its first trophy and established numerous MLS records.
With Penn leading the way, LAFC was named to Fast Company’s annual list of The World’s Most Innovative Companies and Front Office Sports’ Best Employer In Sports list in 2019. Over the past two years, the Club has sold out every MLS home match and has seen Banc of California Stadium become a true destination for millions of fans, families and live music aficionados.
“I am eternally grateful for my time as LAFC President and this once in a lifetime opportunity to co-create LAFC with so many wonderful people,” said Tom Penn. “It has been an honor and privilege to partner with LAFC’s amazing ownership group. I am so thankful for the talent, passion and commitment of LAFC’s employees who dedicate their lives to the Club’s mission to unite, bring joy and be a force for good. John Thorrington and Larry Freedman are two of the most talented executives in pro sports, and I am certain LAFC will thrive. I will continue to assist the Club in any way that I can, and my wife Melissa and I remain Black & Gold forever in support of LAFC.”