Mitch Garber has been named the new chairman of Cirque du Soleil, a company that began as a collection of street performers in Canada years ago.
Cirque has grown into an entertainment powerhouse; its myriad productions have main showroom status at most of MGM’s Las Vegas resorts. It even had its own movie a few years ago, but the critics were less than kind to it.
The problem was Cirque du Soleil is really for live audiences and is not something intended to watch on film. Its like if you took the most exciting parts of the trapeze shows at circuses and made an entire show out of it set to music.
Garber comes to this new position from Caesars Interactive, a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment where he has served as CEO.The executive will somehow manage to do both jobs now, as he will be keeping his Caesars position.
Cirque founder Guy Laliberte had previously enlisted Garber’s assistance in staging a poker tournament with a million dollar buy-in, all of the proceeds going to Laliberte’s foundation that focuses on providing clean water in parts of the world where clean water is not widely available.
TPG Capital has recently bought a 60% stake in Cirque, while it continues to have a significant stake in Caesars. Eight years ago TPG was one of the two private equity groups that bought Caesars known as Harrah’s.
TPG and its partner Apollo Management put up the $4.4 billion in cash that made the $30 billion buyout possible.
Garber said of, Cirque du Soleil’s Founder, Guy Laliberté, “Guy has built one of the most extraordinary companies in the world. I have worked with TPG for many years and know they are the perfect partners to take this business forward. Cirque is a great source of pride for all Québecers and we intend to continue to make them proud.”