CHICAGO (92.3 The Fan) – Jimmy Haslam is wasting no time reshaping the Cleveland Browns organization.
Haslam named former Eagles president Joe Banner as the team’s new CEO and president effective Oct. 25 Tuesday afternoon.
“Joe and Mike [Holmgren] will work together over the next 3 or 3 ½ months to help transition in seamless fashion to bring a winner to the Cleveland Browns,” Haslam said. “We couldn’t have two better people to help us with this transition.”
Current team president Mike Holmgren, who did not make the trip to Chicago, was informed of the pending move over the weekend and has decided to retire at the end of the season.
“Mike has decided that his role would change a lot with us coming in and taking a more active role,” Haslam said. “He will work very closely with us over the next three months to make sure the transition goes smoothly.
“He’s committed to doing everything he can to make the Browns a good football team.”
Banner will to be introduced at a press conference Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. at the team’s complex in Berea.
Holmgren’s contract, which pays him nearly $8 million per year, runs through 2014 but as Haslam said, he will no longer be “the de facto owner.”
The change at the top of the organization is the only change that will be made in season according to Haslam.
“This is the only personnel change we’re going to make until the end of the season,” Haslam said. “And I am not at all saying we’re going to make changes at the end of the season, but this is the only personnel change we’re going to make.
“And candidly, we thought with Mike deciding the role no longer fit him, we thought it was important to bring somebody in so that we do have a good transition so we’re able to hit the ground running after the end of the season.”
Haslam met with coach Pat Shurmur Saturday night, with general manager Tom Heckert and executive vice president – business Bryan Wiedmeier on Sunday.
“No decisions have been made,” Haslam said. “I’m comfortable saying that. These men are big boys. They understand the profession they’re in. Pat and I have a good relationship. The timing of us coming in at training camp was not good.”
The sale of the Browns to Haslam was unanimously approved by NFL owners Tuesday morning. Haslam said he expects the sale to close on Oct. 25th as well.