John I. Bitove has a distinguished record of accomplishment in the corporate, sports and community endeavours. He is the sole shareholder of Obelysk, which has major investments in the wireless, satellite radio, real estate, restaurants and other businesses. He is one of the founders of alternative asset investment firm, PointNorth Capital. Recently Obelysk has obtained the right to develop the Canadian market for Bird e-scooters, and the franchise right to develop Dave’s Hot Chicken restaurants in Canada.
Mr. Bitove was the founder, Chairman and controlling shareholder of Canadian Satellite Radio Inc. which brought satellite radio service to Canadians, in partnership with U.S.-based XM Satellite Radio. XM later merged with Sirius to become SiriusXM Canada, Canada’s fastest growing media subscription business with over 3 million subscribers. SiriusXM Canada went public in 2005 and has now gone private with Mr. Bitove remaining as a shareholder.
Mr. Bitove was the founder, principal shareholder and CEO of KEYreit, Canada’s premier “small-box” retail property owner with over 220 retail real estate properties in eight provinces across Canada. He was also the founder of Mobilicity, one of Canada’s new entrant wireless operators, which was sold to Rogers in 2015. Mr. Bitove acquired Scott’s Restaurants in 1999. Scott’s was renamed as Priszm and grew to almost 700 restaurants across Canada under the KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell brands, serving 2 million customers a week and employing over 10,000 people. Priszm was eventually taken public as an Income Trust.
A passionate Canadian, Mr. Bitove was the volunteer President and Chief Executive Officer of Toronto’s Bid for the 2008 Olympic Games (awarded to Beijing, China). He was the head of the organizing committees that brought the successful World Indoor Athletics (Track & Field) Championships and World Championships of Basketball to Canada in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
In 1993, he founded the Toronto Raptors Basketball Club. He led the NBA franchise-bid process, launched the team and created the Air Canada Centre (now Scotiabank Arena), Toronto’s major sports and entertainment venue.
A strong believer of giving back to the community, Mr. Bitove founded S’Cool Life Fund, to support public elementary schools across Canada. Since the launch in 2005, S’Cool Life Fund has raised and donated over $3 million helping to make school life more enjoyable for thousands of public elementary school kids.