SBD/December 7, 2012/Franchises

Trail Blazers Lay Off Three Execs As New President McGowan Seeks To "Streamline" Office

The Trail Blazers “laid off three high-ranking executives Thursday morning" when CFO Gregg Olson, Senior VP/Tickets & Marketing Michele Daterman and Senior VP/HR Traci Reandeau "were relieved of their duties,” according to Jason Quick of the Portland OREGONIAN. The moves come eight days after COO Sarah Mensah resigned and "less than a month since team president Chris McGowan moved into his office.” McGowan said, “I decided that I needed to make changes to develop my executive team and streamline management layers that are excessive when compared to other sports franchises” (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/7). In Portland, John Canzano cited account reps as saying that Mensah “had been increasingly withdrawn" since McGowan was hired. Canzano writes, “I happen to like McGowan. … I offer a bit of advice for the new guy -- this ends badly for you.” Some will find the Thursday's layoffs “insensitive, but I'll bet those who lost their jobs on Thursday understood the risks of working for the Blazers.” Canzano: “I'll bet none of them were shocked. … All this runs much deeper than business semantics.” Costs may have been “cut, sure, but ultimately, this basketball franchise is running in a circle, re-inventing itself, then starting over, then turning over a new leaf.” The Blazers are “Groundhog Day,” and McGowan is “going to implement wonderful ideas, and bring a breath of fresh air, and he's going to re-vitalize the front office.” Then, sometime between “now and 2017, he's going to get fired, quit, resign or just disappear,” as that is “what happens to executives around here” (Portland OREGONIAN, 12/7).
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