When Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam purchased the team last season, he stepped down in his role as CEO of Pilot Flying J. On Monday morning, it was announced that Haslam would reassume his role as the company's CEO. Regarding the decision, Haslam said, "This is about me realizing my first love is running Pilot Flying J and wanting to return to that job."
Daryl Ruiter from 92.3 The Fan tried to get a word from the Browns as to whether or not Haslam's involvement with the team will change:
Spoke to #Browns team offical who said Haslam move today won't impact day to day operations of team or Haslams involvement with the team— Daryl Ruiter (@RuiterWrongFAN) February 11, 2013
John Compton, the former president of PepsiCo who was hired as Pilot Flying J's CEO when Haslam initially stepped down, will not become a strategic adviser to Haslam in general, including with the Browns. "[Compton has] strong expertise in branding and marketing, and certainly if there's ever an opportunity to pick his brain, we will," Browns spokesman Neal Gulkis said.
Here's how I see things right now:
- Haslam has already finished putting together a staff that he trusts in Browns CEO Joe Banner, team president Alec Scheiner, Executive VP Brent Stehlik, General Counsel Sashi Brown, and Director of Player Personnel Michael Lombardi.
- In terms of the big picture, I think Haslam will still be very much involved with the Browns, and I imagine we'll still see him as a spokesman for the team of sorts. As far as what he needs to do as a full-time owner of the Browns, there probably isn't a lot on his plate that he can't delegate to his staff.
- Being the CEO of Pilot Flying J will require a significant amount of time, but a detour back to Cleveland isn't that far away. Also, with the enthusiasm he has shown to date, coupled with the huge investment he has made in this team, in no way, shape, or form do I see Haslam evolving into anything like an absentee owner like Randy Lerner.
What is your guys' take on Haslam getting back in the saddle as the CEO of an organization that isn't the Cleveland Browns? Are you at all concerned?