SBD/March 18, 2014/Franchises

Browns' Management Structure Was One Of A Kind In NFL Before Offseason Shakeup

The Browns' organizational structure under former CEO Joe Banner "wasn't just 'cumbersome,' as owner Jimmy Haslam described it," but "the only one of its kind" in the NFL, according to Kevin Kleps of CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS. An analysis of the setups of the league's 31 other teams found there is "a common way of structuring a front office in the NFL" and there is no other organization using the Browns' "previous structure of a CEO with no ownership stake who had the final say over both business and football matters." There are 17 execs "listed as the CEO of an NFL team," 12 of whom are "either the majority owner or part of the ownership group." The other five "carry the combined title of president and CEO." Browns President Alec Scheiner said of the team's offseason restructuring, "I was surprised, but I will say this: Any time you have the type of change we had at the end of this season, it's not unreasonable to ask, 'OK, are we properly structured?'" He added, "But Jimmy also had a vision of how he wanted his company to operate, and I think it's really important to Jimmy that we collaborate really well and we have a defined scope of responsibilities. I think if you look at it now, you'll see it is clearer and you can see how this will work." Scheiner: "Because our owner likes to be involved -- he's not involved to the level of (Dallas Cowboys owner) Jerry Jones or someone like that -- I think it's easier for him to have three people report to him [Scheiner, GM Ray Farmer and coach Mike Pettine] as opposed to one (Banner)" (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 3/17 issue).
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