Reporting Daryl Ruiter
CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – It appears that Jimmy Haslam III will have a little more time to spend on the Cleveland Browns.
Haslam is stepping down as CEO of Pilot Flying J and will be replaced by PepsiCo Inc. President John Compton.
Compton’s departure from PepsiCo was announced Tuesday by the company.
“I have deep and personal ties to Tennessee, and my family’s plan all along has been to return to Tennessee at some point,” Compton said in a statement released by PepsiCo. “It isn’t often that the opportunity arises to run one of America’s largest private companies, and this new opportunity was a once in a lifetime chance to do so. This is something I just had to do.”
Pilot Flying J is based in Knoxville, Tenn., and operates a chain of truck stops in the United States and Canada that generates more than $30 billion in revenue.
Haslam has served as CEO of Pilot Flying J since 1994 and will become chairman of Pilot Flying J and Maxum Petroleum the company said.
His father, Jim Haslam, who founded the company in 1958, was given the title of founder and chairman emeritus.
Haslam agreed to purchase the Browns from Randy Lerner and the Lerner Trust for $1 billion on Aug. 9 and was introduced in Cleveland the next day.
Haslam will reportedly acquire a 70 percent controlling interest in the Browns while Lerner retains 30 percent of the team for 4 years following the closing of the sale.
It is believed that Lerner is retaining a minority stake in the team while he pays off existing debts, including to former executives and coaches.
NFL owners are expected to approve the sale of the Browns to Haslam Oct. 16-17 in Chicago.
Since the sale was announced and Haslam was introduced, he has been very visible around the team and busy meeting with fellow NFL owners to learn the business of football.
The move by Haslam, who said that he plans to spend time in Tennessee as well as Cleveland, will likely free him up to become more intimately involved with the Browns.