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Parrish out as Canada Basketball boss, joins Postmedia Network

Wayne Parrish, Executive Director/CEO of Canada Basketball, is seen in The Sport Gallery in Toronto on March 7, 2010.


Wayne Parrish is leaving Canada Basketball, but he's not going away.

The executive director and chief executive officer is taking a job with Postmedia Network, the new owner of Canwest Inc.'s newspaper group. His new title is chief transformation officer and it's a return to his roots in publishing.

Parrish said the concept of transformation officer is a sign of changing times in the media world.

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"I think the interest is to accelerate the movement of the company from a print-based to a digitally-based company," he said. "It's what those in media now consider the ultimate challenge: How to keep the businesses alive through the transformation. I've always been fascinated by that challenge."

Parrish has already engineered a transformation in basketball's national umbrella organization.

In just two years he has helped slash Canada Basketball's deficit from a crippling $1.3-million to just more than $800,000 and helped secure new and more stable sources of funding, including a soon-to-be-completed $1.5-million deal with Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment. He has also successfully lobbied for new levels of government support by leading The Canadian Team Sports Coalition.

It's Canada Basketball's improved fiscal picture that Parrish says has given him confidence the time is right to consider other opportunities.

"By getting those two pieces in place, we've got a stable profit-and-loss picture in place for the next few years," Parrish said. "So much of my day-to-day was to keep the doors open and keep the ship afloat and that's done now."

He said he'll remain close to the organization as a board member and in an unspecified executive function. His contract expires in September and Parrish says he'll be signing another one, but for a modest honorarium.

"My enthusiasm and energy is pretty boundless," he said. "The number of hours I will put in [on Canada Basketball]will be less, but I can be just as effective in this role."

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Canada Basketball is having one of its most successful runs on the floor, having qualified four teams in world championships this year. This month the under-17 men's team won a bronze medal at the worlds in Hamburg, Germany.

With a report from James Christie

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