Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment, owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and the New Jersey Devils, has named David Gould as the organization’s first Chief Diversity and Impact Officer. Philadelphia-native Gould joined the 76ers earlier this year as the Executive Director of the Sixers Youth Foundation.
Gould will be leading HBSE’s action plan and commitment to promoting racial equality, a $20 million pledge that the company announced in August. Over the next five years, $10 million will be devoted to cities where HBSE teams are located. The 76ers also donated $10 million to the NBA’s foundation to drive economic empowerment in black communities.
“I have the privilege of working on issues that mean a lot to me personally; and then to be able to work at a company where you know the 76ers are one of our primary brands is just like icing on the cake,” Gould said in an interview. “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.”
Gould will guide HBSE as they organize ways to to invest in black communities, support black and minority-owned businesses and entrepreneurs while promoting education, health and employment opportunities for the black community. The company’s plan also aims to increase diversity and inclusion across HBSE properties.
“David Gould is an action-oriented, authentic leader with an outward mindset and the capacity to be an inspiring force for change; it is an honor to appoint him to the first-ever role of HBSE’s Chief Diversity and Impact Officer,” HBSE CEO Scott O’Neil said in a statement.
HBSE also owns the Devils’ home arena, Newark’s Prudential Center, as well as English Premier League Team Crystal Palace. Company co-founder Josh Harris led a group in the initial bidding for the New York Mets. But the HBSE’s focus has been retrained on Philadelphia with Gould as a leading officer.
“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,” Harris and co-founder David Blitzer said in a statement.
Prior to joining the 76ers, Gould served as the Deputy Director for Community Engagement and Communications for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney’s Rebuild initiative.