On June 24, 2013, the Cleveland Browns hired Zak Gilbert as their new Director of Communications (which was basically another title for 'PR Director'). A little over a year later, Gilbert announced his resignation from the position. Both Gilbert and team president Alec Scheiner released statements on the decision:
Gilbert: "After a lot of thought and discussion, I’ve come to the difficult decision to resign my position as head of the Browns’ communications department. I want to thank everyone in the organization, most particularly Jimmy and Dee Haslam. I’d also like to extend my appreciation to Alec Scheiner, Mike Pettine and Ray Farmer, and thank members of the local media for the relationships we enjoyed. Working for one of the great franchises in pro football, the team with the league’s most loyal fans, was a genuine privilege. I wish the Browns and all of my teammates inside the building nothing but success."
Scheiner: "We greatly appreciate Zak's efforts, work ethic and contributions to the Cleveland Browns organization. He has been a true professional, and we wish him and his family the best moving forward."
I didn't have a lot of experiences with Gilbert, but shortly after he took over, he personally reached out to me via email and told me to contact him if I ever had a question. I appreciated the open line of communication, even though I never chose to use it. I hope the next director will embrace the new breed of media with the same, open arms.
Gilbert certainly had a lot on his plate during his one year with the Browns. He had to deal with the turmoil of Joe Banner and Michael Lombardi, the stunning trade of Trent Richardson, the potential suspension surrounding Josh Gordon, the drafting of Johnny Manziel, Jimmy Haslam's Pilot Flying J situation, and more. It's unclear what caused Gilbert to resign from his position, but we wish him the best on his future endeavors.