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Steven Zhang named new president of Inter Milan

Zhang replaces Erick Thohir at the top of the Nerazzurri chain.

FC Internazionale board member Steven Zhang Kangyang looks on prior to he Serie A match between FC Torino and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico di Torino on March 18, 2017 in Turin, Italy. Zhang was named president of the club on Oct. 26.
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

At the annual shareholders meeting for FC Internazionale Milano S.p.A., 27-year-old Steven Zhang was appointed the new president of the club.

“Today, I am extremely proud to lead this club into a new era,” Zhang said, prior to the announcement. “I feel the responsibility to satisfy the passion of the millions of fans all over the world and, I am more than ready to accept the challenge of President in this, the 110th year of this prestigious club.”

The new role complements his position of president of Suning International, the overseas division of Suning Holdings Group — majority owners of Inter Milan.

Additionally, the club reported Friday a 9 percent increase in revenue to €347 million from 2017 — which is a 45 percent increase in revenue reported in 2016. The revenue increase was achieved without the Nerazzurri playing European football.

The board of directors also approved a new organization of the club with Javier Zanetti retaining the role of vice president, but former majority owner Erick Thohir being removed from the board entirely. It has been reported that Thohir is looking to sell the remaining shares of Inter Milan and that Suning would be the likely purchaser of those shares.

FC Torino v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Vice President of FC Internazionale Javier Zanetti (R) talks with FC Internazionale board member Steven Zhang Kangyang prior to he Serie A match between FC Torino and FC Internazionale at Stadio Olimpico di Torino on March 18, 2017 in Turin, Italy.
Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Piero Ausillo remains chief sport officer and Alessandro Antonello is the chief executive officer of the company. Interestingly, the new organizational chart had no mention of former Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta and his potential place with the team. However, if Marotta were to be added to Inter Milan, it would not likely happen until January 2019.

“We will continue to make the sports performance the number one focus of our attention, and make sure the team has all the best support necessary to compete and be successful at the very highest levels of both the international and domestic game,” Zhang said. “Off the pitch, we will make Inter as strong a company as it is on the pitch. We must build strong skills in the commercial and marketing areas and further strengthen the management team.

”Meanwhile, we will keep enlarging the scope of our business globally. And we will continue to explore the possibilities of digital management and digital communications, to make Inter a leader in the field of technology.”

Zhang, a member of the UEFA Club Competitions Committee, earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Suning Group, Zhang was an analyst for Morgan Stanley in the company’s Investment Banking and Capital Markets division.

Now, he assumes control of a club that had the largest average attendance in Serie A last season and qualified for the UEFA Champions League for the first time in six years.

”Also, we must remember that Inter isn’t just about football and what happens on the field. We will continue to uphold the sporting values of honest competition, fair play and sportsmanship,” Zhang said. “Together with our stakeholders, we will spread positive energy and messages to all our fans and society as a whole.

”I believe that with your help, I am now ready to take the next steps. Together we can take this Club forward into a new era of success.”

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