10/05/2011 05:43 EDT | Updated 12/05/2011 05:12 EST

Rhodes will be Eskimos' next president, CEO when LeLacheur retires Dec. 1

EDMONTON - Len Rhodes, who's better known for his background in the sporting goods industry, will be the next president and CEO of the Edmonton Eskimos.

The 47-year-old from Schefferville, Que., will replace Rick LeLacheur, who will retire Dec. 1.

"I am very excited and honoured to become part of one of North America's pre-eminent sports franchises," Rhodes said in a statement.

Rhodes has made a career as a senior executive in consumer goods, most recently as senior vice-president and general manager of Reebok-CCM Hockey. He also worked for Molson Coors for 11 years.

Eskimos board chairman Allan Sawin said Rhodes, who has a bachelor of commerce degree from Concordia University, beat out a number of strong candidates for the position.

"We chose Len due to his excellent leadership skills and he also has tremendous marketing, sales and brand management strength," Sawin said.

LeLacheur announced in the spring that he would retire at the end of his contract in December.