Zucker to head Clips' business ops

LOS ANGELES -- The Clippers have hired Gillian Zucker as president of business operations, the team announced Thursday.

Zucker has spent the previous nine years as the president of Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, the largest race track on the West Coast.

"I am extremely happy to add a leader like Gillian to our team," Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in a statement. "Her clear and creative business vision, innovative approach to marketing and experience working in the Los Angeles sports market make her the perfect fit to lead the Clippers during this transcendent time."

The Clippers had been searching for a team president after parting ways with Andy Roeser, who took an indefinite leave of absence after former owner Donald Sterling was banned for life from the NBA. Ballmer bought the Clippers for $2 billion in August.

"What an exciting time to be part of the L.A. Clippers," Zucker said in a statement. "There's something special happening in this organization that has captured the attention of Los Angeles, the NBA and the nation. Steve Ballmer's energy and enthusiasm is contagious and inspiring. We are just getting started."

Zucker was named president of Auto Club Speedway in June 2005 and led all aspects of the speedway's business, including operations, ticketing, finance, communications and marketing. In addition, she served on the International Speedway Corporation executive management team and oversaw Chicagoland and Kansas Speedways.

Prior to her time at Auto Club Speedway, Zucker served as Daytona International Speedway's vice president of business and development. She joined International Speedway Corporation, the owner of Auto Club Speedway, in 1998 as director of business development for Kansas Speedway and was shortly promoted to vice president of operational development.

While Zucker will head up the business operations, coach Doc Rivers will continue in his role as president of basketball operations for the Clippers after signing a five-year contract worth more than $50 million in August.