FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Revolution Investor/Operators Robert and Jonathan Kraft today announced a new executive management structure for the club, effective immediately.
Brian Bilello has been promoted to President of the New England Revolution after serving the last six seasons as the club’s Chief Operating Officer. In his new role, Bilello will oversee all aspects of the Revolution organization – now including the club’s soccer operations in addition to continuing to oversee the club’s business activities – while reporting to Robert and Jonathan Kraft. He has also surrendered his other leadership roles within The Kraft Sports Group to focus solely on the Revolution.
Additionally, Michael Burns has been promoted to General Manager after serving as the club’s Vice President of Player Personnel for the last four seasons. Burns will now lead all aspects of the club’s soccer operations, which now includes the coaching staff and player acquisitions, in addition to continuing his oversight of the youth development program and the team’s operations and management.
“Major League Soccer has evolved significantly in the last few years and while we felt we had a structure in place that had worked well earlier and led us to success, the last two years did not live up to our expectations,” said Robert Kraft. “With this new executive structure, we will be better positioned to compete for championships on the field while we continue to focus on growing our business and building a soccer-specific venue in the Commonwealth.”
Bilello joined the Revolution in April 2006 when he was appointed Chief Operating Officer. As COO, he oversaw all aspects of the team's business operations, including sales, communications, marketing, broadcasting, special events and operations.
Prior to accepting the Revolution’s COO position, Bilello served the Revolution, New England Patriots and Gillette Stadium in a variety of operational and strategic roles. He joined The Kraft Sports Group in 2003 as Director of Quality and Operational Control, where he worked to improve the fan experience across all areas of Gillette Stadium. Bilello also ran Gillette Stadium’s concessions and retail operations, and also provided strategic advice to the Kraft Family on a number of issues related to their sports ventures, in particular, MLS and the Revolution. Prior to working with The Kraft Sports Group, Bilello was a management consultant at Bain & Company in the company's San Francisco and Boston offices, where he worked with clients in the retail, consumer products and entertainment industries. Bilello also played varsity soccer at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and is a former Revolution season-ticket holder.
“Brian is a well-versed and well-respected sports business executive,” Jonathan Kraft said. “Not only does he have a tremendous passion for soccer, but he also has a deep connection to the Revolution and a strong desire to be part of Major League Soccer’s continued growth. Coupled with his business acumen, we believe Brian is well-suited to guide the club and we’re excited he’s agreed to take on this new challenge.”
A former Revolution defender and team captain when MLS launched in 1996, Burns returned to the club at the start of the 2005 season as the Director of Soccer and was promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel in 2008, where he worked with the coaching staff on all aspects of the team’s performance. Additionally, Burns serves on U.S. Soccer's Referee Committee, MLS' Technical Committee, MLS' Combine Committee and MLS' working group on officiating.
A New England soccer legend, Burns was born and raised in Marlborough, Mass., and was the first player in U.S. Soccer history to represent the United States at every level of FIFA-sanctioned tournaments: Under-16 World Cup (Canada 1987), Under-20 World Cup (Saudi Arabia 1989), Olympic Games (Barcelona 1992) and World Cup (United States 1994, France 1998). After a standout career at Hartwick College (1988-91), Burns became a regular for the U.S. National Team earning 75 caps, and made 169 appearances in MLS with the Revolution (1996-2000), San Jose Earthquakes (2000) and Kansas City Wizards (2001-02).
“We’re pleased Michael has accepted this new role,” Jonathan Kraft said. “He is well-grounded in both American soccer and the Revolution, and he has a long history with our family. During the last few years, he has proven to us that he is talented and more than capable to take on these responsibilities and lead our soccer operations.”
Sunil Gulati, who was helped guide the organization since 1999, will remain a special advisor to The Kraft Group and the Kraft Family.
For up-to-the-minute information on the Revolution, visit the team’s official web site at revolutionsoccer.net, or follow the team on Twitter at @NERevolution, or on Facebook at facebook.com/NERevolution. For more information about Revolution tickets, special packages and 2012 season tickets, call 1-877-GET-REVS or visit revolutionsoccer.net.