John Tortora is president of the Sharks, promoted
to the position on Dec. 21, 2017. In this new role,
Tortora, 49, co-shares the overall leadership of the
business with Jonathan Becher, and is specifically
responsible for overseeing the company’s venue
operations and the company’s financial, human
resources, and legal functions. Both Becher and
Tortora work closely with Sharks General Manager
Doug Wilson in establishing and maintaining a centralized and collaborative vision
for the entire organization, encapsulating both hockey and business operations.
Tortora also serves as an alternate governor for the San Jose Sharks to the
National Hockey League’s (NHL) Board of Governors and for the San Jose
Barracuda to the American Hockey League’s (AHL) Board of Governors. Prior to
his promotion, Tortora served as chief operating officer of the Sharks since 2013
and executive vice president and general counsel from 2011 to 2013.
Over the last five years, Tortora focused on creating new opportunities to connect
with Sharks fans, corporate partners, and the community, highlighted by a series of
high-profile organizational events and projects.
One such event occurred on Feb. 21, 2015 when the Sharks hosted the 2015
Coors Light Stadium Series at Levi’s Stadium, which was Northern California’s first
professional outdoor hockey game. The sold-out contest was an overwhelming
success, drawing a crowd of 70,205 fans, making it the third-largest attended
game in NHL history. In connection with this game, Tortora facilitated the Sharks
participation in the four-part, EPIX television series, “Road to the Stadium Series,”
which offered a uniquely unfettered look into the day-to-day life of the Sharks
players in the weeks preceding the outdoor game.
Later in 2015, Tortora reaffirmed Sharks Majority Owner Hasso Plattner’s longterm
commitment to the City of San Jose by extending the Sharks’ management
agreement to operate SAP Center, without any financial risk to the City, and
providing a framework under which the Sharks can continue to call San Jose its
home through the 2039-40 season.
In conjunction with Wilson, Tortora also helped spearhead the relocation of the
Sharks AHL development club from Worcester to San Jose as a part of a new Pacific
Division of the AHL. Beginning with the 2015-16 season, the San Jose Barracuda
provided a new opportunity for Sharks fans to watch future Sharks players develop
at the SAP Center, while enabling the Sharks hockey operations staff to oversee
the organization’s strong and evolving core of prospects more closely. Related to
the relocation of the Barracuda, Tortora oversaw the upgrade of Solar4America
Ice at San Jose to include a $4 million locker room and practice facility for the
newly-relocated AHL team as well as the renovation of two of the four ice-sheets at
Solar4America Ice this past summer.
2015-16 also witnessed a season-long celebration of the franchise’s 25th
Anniversary and its great fans, highlighted with a gala to commemorate the
organization’s first 25 years in the Bay Area. Fittingly, the season culminated with
the franchise’s first trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
In 2016-17, under Tortora’s direction, the Sharks continued their long-standing
track record of outstanding customer service, marked by the organization receiving
recognition from JD Power & Associates as the professional sports team with the
best overall fan experience in the Bay Area.
For the 2018-19 season, Becher and Tortora successfully bid to host the 2019
NHL All-Star Weekend on January 25-26, 2019, the first time that the Sharks
are hosting the weekend since 1997 and represents the highlight of a year-long
celebration of 25 years of SAP Center, which opened in 1993.
Prior to joining the Sharks, Tortora spent 14 years with the NHL office in New
York, rising to the level of Vice President, Media, where he was actively involved in
the launch of the NHL Network in Canada and the United States and directed the
NHL’s federal lobbying efforts in Ottawa and Washington.
After graduating magna cum laude in accounting from Seton Hall University in
1991, Tortora attended Seton Hall University School of Law, graduating in 1994
and serving as editor-in-chief of the Seton Hall Journal of Sport Law.
A native of New Jersey, Tortora is a member of the New Jersey and New York
State Bars and is a registered in-house counsel with the State Bar of California.
Tortora also is active with a number of community groups. A four-time marathoner,
Tortora and his wife, Debbie, have two teenage children.
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Jonathan Becher is president of Sharks Sports &
Entertainment. While sharing overall leadership
with John Tortora, Becher is responsible for the
organization’s areas of sales, marketing and
revenue. A long-time Sharks fan and season ticket
holder, Becher also oversees the organization’s fan
Prior to joining Sharks Sports & Entertainment, Becher spent a decade at SAP
in at SAP in a variety of senior roles, including Chief Marketing Officer and Chief
Digital Officer. While CMO, he oversaw many of SAP’s large-scale sports and
entertainment partnerships, including the naming rights agreement for the SAP
Center at San Jose. Becher has also crafted corporate partnerships with the San
Francisco 49ers, the National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Basketball
Association (NBA), among others.
A three-time CEO, Becher is a frequent speaker at technology industry events,
and is a regularly published author on a variety of topics, including the popular
blog Manage By Walking Around http://jonathanbecher.com. His management
philosophy centers on aligning execution with strategy and respecting the impact
of culture on business.
Becher was named by Forbes Magazine as one of the world’s most influential
CMOs, most social CMO in The Huffington Post, and a top CxO on Twitter by
Social Media Marketing Magazine. He is the Board Chair for the Churchill Club,
Silicon Valley’s premier business and technology forum, and is the sole independent
Board Member of both Trintech, the leading cloud-based financial Record to Report
(R2R) solutions, and Pixlee, the leading visual platform for user-generated content.
He is also an adviser to several early-stage companies.
Becher holds a master’s degree in computer science from Duke University
in North Carolina, and a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from the
University of Virginia.