Inter Miami hires former FC Barcelona exec Xavi Asensi to be chief business officer

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Michelle Kaufman
·3 min read
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Inter Miami continued its front-office overhaul with the hiring of FC Barcelona’s former chief commercial officer Xavier Asensi, who will take on a similar role with the MLS club.

Asensi, 39, has been working as a consultant with Miami for a few months, and was named chief business officer Thursday. He joins Inter Miami after 10 years with FC Barcelona, where he most recently served as chief commercial officer and was a member of the FC Barcelona executive board.

Asensi, who is pending receipt of authorization to work in the United States, will lead the club’s business operations and commercial strategies and report directly to managing owner Jorge Mas.

“Xavi brings a proven record of success at one of the world’s greatest clubs,” Mas said. “His vision will further drive the growth of our club and support our local and commercial partnerships.”

Asensi spent many years living in China and Hong Kong as the head of the FC Barcelona’s Asian commercial office.

He built a reputation on generating global business for FC Barcelona and increasing the number of fans in Asia. He speaks English, Spanish and Mandarin. Inter Miami co-owner David Beckham has a huge following in Asia, so Asensi’s knowledge of that market would be beneficial as the club tries to expand its reach.

“I am grateful for the trust and support Jorge Mas and David Beckham have given me, and I am very motivated and excited to begin this new journey in South Florida. I am a huge fan of the United States, and I believe that there is no better time to be part of the soccer industry in this country alongside a young organization with a world of opportunities ahead,” Asensi said. “I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen so far and look forward to working with the team to establish a clear direction and strategy to achieve our goals.”

Asensi will be a particularly essential officer for Inter Miami, a second-year club that lost a lot of money during the pandemic in 2020 and never had time to build its brand. His appointment comes of the eve of the expected announcement of a stadium naming deal with AutoNation. Signage was going up on Wednesday night with the name “DRV PNK STADIUM”, which is the name of AutoNation’s cancer charity initiative.

Asensi holds a bachelor’s in international business with a focus on international economics from ESCI-UPF in Barcelona, Spain, and an executive degree from Stanford University in Interpersonal Dynamics for High-Performance Executives. He will reside in Miami with his wife and infant daughter.

The team underwent several key changes in the off-season, following a disappointing debut season. Inter Miami parted ways with sporting director Paul McDonough and replaced him with Chris Henderson. Coach Diego Alonso was replaced by Phil Neville. The team plays its final preseason game at home Sunday against Toronto FC and the home season opener is Apr. 18 against the Los Angeles Galaxy.