A Detroit native, Tom Wilson graduated from Cass Technical High School, and then Wayne State University before he began his career working for the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and The Forum.
From there, he joined the Detroit Pistons in 1978 and a year later began to oversee the team’s business operations. The Palace of Auburn Hills was designed largely around Wilson's input and he was responsible for staffing and developing the operational philosophies of the new arena. In 1987 he was named President and CEO of Palace Sports & Entertainment, overseeing the Palace, DTE Energy Music Theater and Meadow Brook Music Festival. In 1993 he was named President of the Pistons, overseeing both business and basketball operations. In his 32 year career with Palace Sports & Entertainment, Wilson was ultimately responsible for business and sports operations of the Pistons, Detroit Shock (WNBA) and Tampa Bay Lightening (NHL), winning nine championships.
In 2010, Wilson was named president and chief executive officer of Olympia Entertainment, Detroit’s premier marketer of sports and entertainment events. The company also handles business operations of the Detroit Red Wings and collaborates with the Detroit Tigers and other Ilitch companies