The Montreal Impact announced the appointment of Kevin Gilmore as the club's new president and CEO on Wednesday, a move the club says will allow Joey Saputo to focus on his ownership duties.

"Today, with our league growing by leaps and bounds, new expansion, exciting new stadiums and unparalleled growth, we clearly need to strengthen our organization, review and refine its current structure, increase our level of professionalism and efficiency, and above all, be ready for the major transformations that are rapidly sweeping our sport," Saputo said in a statement.

A native of Arvida, Que., Gilmore, 54, joins the club after nearly three decades of experience in sports and entertainment, having worked with the likes of the Walt Disney Company and the Montreal Canadiens. Most recently, Gilmore founded 4Sport Consulting, a sports and media consulting firm, and sat on the administrative councils of both the Canadian Olympic Committee and the Canadian Women's Hockey League.

"Overseeing a professional sports franchise has been a lifelong dream of mine and I am excited to now do this with a team and a league that are not only experiencing tremendous growth, but are poised to capitalize on boundless opportunities for future growth in the coming years," Gilmore said in a statement. "Being able to do this in the great city where I am returning with my family makes this even more special. I look forward to working with Joey and the entire Impact staff to take this club's performance to new levels, both on and off the field, and make this organization one of North America's best sports organizations."

Saputo had been the club's president since its founding in 1993, with the Impact joining MLS in 2012. Saputo is also the chairman of Serie A side Bologna.

The Impact open up their 2019 MLS schedule on March 2 with a visit to the San Jose Earthquakes.