By DARYL RUITER, 92.3 The Fan Browns Beat ReporterBy Daryl Ruiter | 92.3 The Fan

CLEVELAND (92.3 The Fan) – Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is returning as CEO of Pilot Flying J the company announced Monday.

Haslam stepped down in September as CEO so he could concentrate on his newest billion dollar acquisition – the Browns.

“This is about me realizing my first love is running Pilot Flying J and wanting to return to that job,” Haslam told the Knoxville News Sentinel.

The move will not affect the Browns according to vice president of media relations Neal Gulkis.

“It’s not going to have any impact on the day to day operations or his involvement with the team,” Gulkis said.

John Compton, who replaced Haslam as CEO of the Knoxville, Tenn. based company built by the Haslam family, will become a strategic adviser to Pilot Flying J, the Browns and the Haslams.

“I am thrilled to work with Jimmy on the strategic opportunities facing our companies,” Compton said in a press release. “I have greatly enjoyed working directly with the Pilot Flying J teams and look forward to assisting the Cleveland Browns as well. My family and I are proud to call Knoxville our home and we look forward to a long-term relationship with Jimmy and the Haslam family.”

In the press release Haslam said expanding the role of the former president of PepsiCo to also include the Browns makes plenty of sense.

“We think it makes sense to leverage John’s skills across not only Pilot Flying J, but also the other businesses in which our family operates,” Haslam said. “John brings an excellent skill set in marketing, operating excellence and strategic thinking. These are skills that would benefit all of our businesses, not just Pilot Flying J.”

Haslam agreed to buy the Browns last August and the sale was approved on Oct. 16, 2012 by NFL owners.

Since then Haslam has restructured the top of the organization.

He immediately named Joe Banner, who officially joined the team on Oct. 26, as CEO.

Alec Sheiner was named team president on Dec. 18.

Since the new year began Mike Lombardi was named vice president of player personnel and Rob Chudzinski was hired as head coach.

The team also hired Sashi Brown as executive vice president – general counsel, Brent Stehlik, executive vice president – chief revenue officer and Fred Nace, who served as the team’s general counsel, was named senior Advisor and special counsel.

Although he still spends a considerable amount of time in Knoxville, Haslam has set roots in northeast Ohio since buying the Browns.

He purchased a home last fall in Bratenahl, was named last week to the Cleveland Clinic’s board of directors and also serves as an honorary chair for the Cleveland chapter of the Boys and Girls Club.


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