Big promotion for Small as senior VP of MLB international
North America's Major League Baseball has promoted Jim Small, its vice-president of Asia-Pacific, to senior vice-president of international business.
Small (pictured) will relocate to New York to oversee the league's global strategy and four international offices.
He will be tasked with growing MLB’s brand and development globally, planning the international play schedule, generating new opportunities to increase the sport’s popularity internationally, creating and nurturing a talent pipeline in key markets and overseeing the World Baseball Classic.
Small has spent the last 15 years growing MLB's presence in Asia, establishing the league's first regional office in Tokyo, and then bringing regular-season games to Japan, China, Taiwan and Australia.
He succeeds Chris Park, who is now chief executive of eSports firm Gen G.
In other international promotions, Charlie Hill moves from managing director of Europe, Middle East and Africa to vice-president of international strategic development. Hill, based in London, has been heavily involved in the planning of the two New York Yankees-Boston Red Sox games in the city in June.
MLB also announced that Rodrigo Fernandez is now managing director, Latin America, expanding on his Mexico-only responsibilities, while Sami Kawakami will replace many of Small’s responsibilities as the new managing director, Japan.
Tony Petitti, deputy commissioner, business and media, MLB, said: “Jim Small has been an integral part of Major League Baseball’s growth around the world and his extensive experience will be critical as we move into an era of an unprecedented number of international competitions for the league.
“Charlie, Rodrigo and Sami have all established themselves as important contributors to our international development. They will be important leaders as we continue baseball’s global development and further MLB’s rich diversity by cultivating the best baseball players from around the world.”