Peter Karmanos, Jr.

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Peter Karmanos
Karmanos.jpeg
Born (1943-03-11) March 11, 1943 (age 71)
Detroit, Michigan
Occupation Former CEO of Compuware Corporation
Known for owner of the Carolina Hurricanes and Plymouth Whalers

Peter Karmanos, Jr. (born March 11, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan)[1][2] is the majority owner and chief executive officer of the Carolina Hurricanes, Plymouth Whalers and Florida Everblades hockey franchises.

The oldest of three sons of a Greek immigrant family who owned a small restaurant in Detroit, Karmanos attended Henry Ford High School and graduated from Wayne State University in 1973.[3] Soon after leaving college he found software company Compuware with two partners, Thomas Thewes and Allen Cutting.[4] Karmanos served as Compuware's CEO until June 20, 2011, when he became executive chairman.[5] Karmanos retired from Compuware on March 31, 2013 but maintained a consultant role within the company.[6] Compuware terminated his post-retirement consulting agreement, effective October 1, 2013.[7] He has since opened a new computer firm, Mad Dog Technology.[8]

Karmanos cofounded the Detroit Compuware Hockey organization in the late 1970s with Thewes. The organization includes all levels of hockey from recreational to AAA and Junior A. The Ontario Hockey League awarded an expansion franchise on December 11, 1989 to be known as the Detroit Compuware Ambassadors. The team later became the Detroit Junior Red Wings, Detroit Whalers and are now called the Plymouth Whalers following a relocation to nearby Plymouth.[4]

Karmanos, his Compuware partner Thewes and former player Jim Rutherford purchased the Hartford Whalers in 1994, for $47.5 million. At the time, they had committed to keeping the team in Hartford for at least four years.[9][10] Connecticut's then-governor Lowell P. Weicker announced that Karmanos would be critical for the team to stay in Hartford. Weicker later became a member of the Compuware Board of Directors. Karmanos was unable to sell 11,000 season tickets in Hartford during the 1995–1996 NHL season and announced the team would leave Hartford before a new city had been found if the Whalers were unable to sell 11,000 season tickets for the 1996–1997 season.[11] The team was moved to Raleigh, North Carolina and renamed the Carolina Hurricanes following the 1996–1997 season. As a result, Karmanos is still reviled by many people in Connecticut.[12] The Hurricanes went on to win the Stanley Cup in 2006, with Karmanos eagerly donning his skates, hoisting the Cup, and skating around with it briefly after the game-7 win. For his day with the Cup, he brought it to Compuware HQ in Detroit, and allowed employees to get their photo taken individually with the Cup.

Karmanos' Gale Force Holdings includes along with the Hurricanes their stadium, PNC Arena; the Plymouth Whalers and stadium Compuware Arena; and the Hurricanes's ECHL affiliate Florida Everblades, along with stadium Germain Arena in Fort Myers, Florida.[10]

Karmanos received the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to hockey after the 1997–1998 season, the Bill Long Award in 2010 for services to the Ontario Hockey League, and was inducted to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013.[4]

Karmanos also sponsors youth hockey programs in Michigan. Under his backing, Karmanos youth hockey teams have accumulated numerous state, national and international tournaments.

He donated money to the Michigan Cancer Foundation, which was renamed the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in 1995 in memory of his first wife, Barbara Ann Karmanos, who died of breast cancer in 1989. In addition to three children with Barbara, Karmanos has four others with current wife Danialle, and nine grandchildren.[10]

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