SBD/May 13, 2013/Franchises

Raiders Chief Exec Amy Trask Resigns After 26 Years With Franchise

Trask's role with the Raiders had changed following the death of Al Davis
Raiders Chief Exec Amy Trask, the NFL’s “first female front office executive,” resigned from the team on Saturday “following months of speculation about her future within the evolving organizational structure,” according to Nancy Gay of CSNBAYAREA.com. Trask, who joined the Raiders in '87, had been "the only female CEO in the NFL" since '97. Trask's "devotion" to late Raiders Owner Al Davis and the Raiders organization “was as legendary as the franchise’s logo.” Davis placed a “great deal of trust in Trask’s decision-making and her counsel.” Trask in recent years was “heavily involved in the marketing of the team and promoting ticket and group sales.” She worked to “improve the stadium experience, particularly in the area of fan safety and enjoyment in the parking and common areas, turning a once-intimidating Oakland-Alameda Coliseum trip into the family friendly experience she envisioned.” Trask’s resignation has been “widely expected in NFL circles for many months.” She had “spoken recently of looking for new opportunities outside the Raiders and away from the NFL,” after many years of working for the same organization. Trask had been “closely involved in talks regarding the Raiders' unstable stadium situation in Oakland, and with the team entering the final year of its lease at the NFL's only dual-purpose ballpark, it's unclear who will take the reins in those negotiations” (CSNBAYAREA.com, 5/11). In San Jose, Jerry McDonald wrote Trask “found her role reshaped under Mark Davis, who took over for his father upon his death in October 2011.” The Raiders have “restructured both the football and business side of the organization since the death of Al Davis.” The team in the past six months interviewed former Madison Square Garden President Scott O'Neil and NFL Exec VP/Football Operations Ray Anderson “for a leadership role on the business side of the organization” (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 5/12).

IN THE WORKS: In San Jose, Tim Kawakami wrote Trask’s departure “is not a surprise: Trask was an essential part of the former regime,” but Mark Davis, GM Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen have “moved the franchise on.” Her legacy is that in an “enormously difficult time, as the standard-bearer faltered, she kept the franchise from crashing … and directed the handover (financial and spiritual) to Mark Davis.” Trask was the “crisis manager CEO, the steward, and Al’s last trusted aide.” She “occasionally took heat inside the organization for a lot of things because she got involved in a lot of things.” Some blamed her for then coach Jon Gruden’s “stalled negotiations, the departure of several top execs, and the stadium stalemate (she strongly and logically favored a deal to share the Santa Clara stadium with the 49ers), among many troubled issues.” Kawakami: “But if anything, she was the one stuck in the muck when Al avoided or didn’t make a clear decision. He didn’t have middle-managers. He had her” (MERCURYNEWS.com, 5/11). PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Mike Florio wrote Trask “always displayed genuine passion for the Raiders and for her work on the team’s behalf, zealously defending the fans against accusations of misbehavior and aggressively attempting to help the organization be viewed in a favorable light” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 5/11). SI.com's Peter King writes Trask "took her role as a female trailblazer in the league seriously and mentored many young women who wanted to rise in the business." King: "I hope someone's smart enough to see how important a good, tough woman is to the bottom line of a sports franchise, and Trask is hired somewhere in the business soon" (SI.com, 5/13).
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