Tod Leiweke Leaving As NFL COO, Will Be Replaced By Maryann Turcke
NFL COO TOD LEIWEKE is leaving after three years on the job, according to an internal memo Commissioner ROGER GOODELL sent out this morning. Leiweke will be replaced by MARYANN TURCKE, who was hired a year ago as president of digital media and NFL Network. In his memo, Goodell said it was Leiweke’s decision to leave. “During his time here in New York, Tod was instrumental in guiding our long-term strategic process and has been a valuable resource, not only to me but to ownership, our clubs and the entire league.” The NFL did not say where Leiweke is headed, though it has been rumored that he was looking to join his brother TIM, who is CEO of Oak View Group. Leiweke has spent a lot of his time recently on the NFL’s long-term planning, especially around plans for the league’s 100th anniversary celebrations next year. Goodell hired the well-regarded Leiweke from the Lightning shortly after the NFL was rocked by domestic violence scandals in '14. Leiweke’s main role at first was to calm the waters and take some of the pressure off of Goodell. The league, though, has suffered through continued turbulence, from the anthem-related protests to the owner battles over Goodell’s contract. In fact, Cowboys Owner JERRY JONES, who tried to impede Goodell’s contract, has said that he is unhappy over staffing levels and quality at NFL headquarters. Last year, four weeks after the NFL hired Turcke, the league went through a reorganization that saw BRIAN ROLAPP get promoted to Chief Media & Business Officer. In getting the promotion, Rolapp started reporting directly into Goodell; previously he had reported into Leiweke. Leiweke joins NFL Exec VP/Communications JOE LOCKHART in leaving since Jones took aim at the league office, and they are not expected to be the only ones. Goodell closed the memo by saying, “There will be further organizational announcements as we continue to assess the opportunities and challenges and position ourselves for continued success.”
TURCKE TAKES CENTER STAGE: Turcke will move from L.A. to N.Y. to take on the COO role, in which she becomes the highest-ranked woman at the NFL. As COO, Turcke will oversee the marketing, communications, human resources, international, events and technology departments. Football operations, headed up by Exec VP TROY VINCENT, will not report into Turcke, though it did report into Leiweke. Turcke’s NFL career took a star turn in the year that she has overseen NFL Network. The channel posted one of its best years under her leadership and became the second most viewed sports network during NFL season to ESPN. Turcke ran Bell Media in Canada before joining the NFL and has a lot of corporate experience, including the management of a large team of people. “I expect her leadership, vision and corporate governance experience to help evolve our organization and take it to a higher level,” Goodell wrote.