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Volume 26 No. 205
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Mavs' Hiring Of Cynthia Marshall To Fix Culture Proving Worthwhile

Mavs employees feel that Marshall brought a different energy and new viewpoint to the orginization
Photo: BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
Mavs employees feel that Marshall brought a different energy and new viewpoint to the orginization
Photo: BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
Mavs employees feel that Marshall brought a different energy and new viewpoint to the orginization
Photo: BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

The Mavericks "represent the NBA’s biggest #MeToo-era scandal," but the "past year has been transformative" for the team after hiring CEO Cynthia Marshall to help retool the organization, according to a cover story by Mary Pilon of BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK. There was a "particular awkwardness" to Marshall's hiring, because whether Owner Mark Cuban’s motives were "cynical or not, the optics of a very public white male billionaire asking a woman of color to clean up his mess aren’t great." In the wake of the original report detailing the team's culture, Cuban "began canvassing friends, colleagues, and business associates looking for someone who could take over immediately." For Marshall, coming "out of retirement to take on an unfamiliar position, in an unfamiliar industry, at a company that had just been through an embarrassing airing of internal traumas wasn’t in her plans." She said, “I read that article (in SI) and I thought, What woman in her right mind would want to work there?” Pilon notes before starting, Marshall "drafted a 100-day turnaround plan" with "four parts: modeling zero tolerance, creating a playbook for women in the organization, transforming the culture, and improving operational effectiveness." Additionally, Marshall's "playbook for fixing a toxic workplace" includes five major points: "Own the Mistakes But Move Forward;" "Create Supportive Communities for Employees;" "Make the New Values Clear;" "Don’t Be Afraid to Admit Weaknesses or Ask for Help;" and "Invest in the Undervalued." The Dallas Mavericks Advisory Council also was created, consisting of a "brain trust of 26 local leaders," who will "meet quarterly." Mavs Senior Dir of Community Relations Katie Edwards said Marshall brought a “different energy" and "changed the viewpoint on everything." Marshall said that the SI story "initially hurt ticket sales," but the team has now "more than recovered." She also said that "all of the Mavs’ key sponsors have since renewed" (BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK, 12/24 issue).