SBD/March 10, 2011/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Sending Out The Search Party: NBA Hopes To Hire Next WNBA President By June

Silver has worked with Chris Granger to help operate the WNBA since December
NBA Deputy Commissioner & COO Adam Silver said the league plans to hire the next WNBA president "by early June," according to Mechelle Voepel of ESPN.com. Donna Orender stepped down as head of the women's basketball league in December, and the NBA's "goal is to have the new head" in place by the start of the '11 season. Silver: "We're still deep into the process. We've talked to several candidates. I'd say we're not close to making an announcement." Voepel reported it is a "near certainty that someone with a proven business background will be the next WNBA president." That person could "come from the management staff of an NBA team," but fans should not "look for anyone who is more goodwill ambassador than serious deal negotiator." Silver: "At this stage in the league, we need someone to lead us to a place where teams on a stand-alone basis can be profitable." Discussing the PR part of the WNBA president's job, he said, "It remains important, but it's not as strong an emphasis in this search -- in part because we're at a different stage in the league." Silver stressed that the "structure of the WNBA with the NBA has helped the transition period." Voepel noted NBA Exec VP/Team Marketing & Business Operations Chris Granger has "been the main overseer of the WNBA since Orender's departure." Both he and Silver have "been in regular contact with the WNBA owners as they navigate the offseason without a president." Silver, who declined to name specific candidates, said, "It's probably a little different circumstance than a typical organization that would be going through a period without its president. In this case, while the position is critically important, I think everyone else is able to step up to a certain extent" (ESPN.com, 3/8).
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