Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, owners of the National Basketball Association’s Philadelphia 76ers and National Hockey League’s New Jersey Devils among other properties, has named David Gould as the organization’s inaugural chief diversity and impact officer.
The move comes just a month after HBSE created a new organization-wide effort to combat systemic racism, backing the initiative with a $10m commitment.
Adding to the $10m HBSE will already provide over the next decade through the newly created NBA Foundation, the additional $10m will be contributed over the next five years to several programs aimed at Black empowerment.
Gould, who joined the 76ers earlier this year as the executive director of the Sixers Youth Foundation, played a significant role in the development of HBSE’s racial equity action plan and led many of the 76ers’ efforts to support communities in need during the Covid-19 crisis.
Gould said: “I’m proud of the commitment made by our company and Managing Partners Josh Harris and David Blitzer to promote diversity and economic opportunity and publicly recognize the impact that systemic racism continues to have in our society.”
“As a Black man, former college athlete, and native Philadelphian, this work is deeply personal to me and I believe that the sports and entertainment industry has an important role to play in the push for social and racial equality. It’s an honor to be leading this new priority for HBSE and I am excited for the positive impact we will have for both our staff and communities,” he said.
In a newly-created role, Gould will lead HBSE’s internal and external diversity and inclusion standards, programs and initiatives across the organization, which additionally includes multiple esports properties, the Prudential Center, HBSE Real Estate, HBSE Ventures, Sixers Innovation Lab and more.
He will provide executive leadership and guidance while working closely with company leaders, HBSE’s diversity and inclusion advisory board and the human resources department to implement a comprehensive inclusion and diversity strategy across HBSE.
Other responsibilities will include implementing best-in-class practices to ensure an inclusive and diverse work environment across all HBSE properties through recruitment, retention and professional development programs. Gould will also work with team marketing and community relations to promote positive educational, health and employment outcomes for local communities.
HBSE Founders Josh Harris and David Blitzer said: “This role is a vital addition to our organization and we believe David’s leadership, passion and strategic mindset are incredibly valuable to our company and community members alike. This is an important step in our larger commitment towards equality and inclusion within our organization and in driving positive change in the communities we serve.”