Female exec leaving NASCAR world to join NBA’s LA Clippers

Gillian Zucker (right) announced Thursday she would be leaving her role with Auto Club Speedway to join the Los Angeles Clippers NBA team as the new president of business operations. 

Jerod Harris

Gillian Zucker, who has spent the last nine years as the president of Auto Club Speedway, is changing teams — and sports.

The Los Angeles Clippers announced Thursday that Zucker will leave International Speedway Corp., the company that owns ACS, to become the National Basketball Association team’s new president of business operations.

"I am extremely happy to add a leader like Gillian to our team," Clippers owner Steve Ballmer said in a statement released by the team. "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."

"What an exciting time to be part of the L.A. Clippers," said Zucker. "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, a close friend of ISC CEO Lesa France Kennedy, was named president of Auto Club Speedway — which is located in Fontana, Calif. — in June 2005. Before that, Zucker was Daytona International Speedway’s vice president of business and development. She joined ISC in 1998 as director of business development for Kansas Speedway and was shortly promoted to vice president of operational development.