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Volume 21 No. 2
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Game Changers: Kerry Chandler

Photo: NBAE
Chandler enjoys Take Our Kids to Work Day with NBA
employees’ children.

Kerry Chandler
EVP, Human Resources

With multiple international offices and some 250 employees located overseas, Kerry Chandler’s job as NBA executive vice president of human resources is increasingly global. “We are doing everything we can to support the NBA with respect to the huge global growth,” Chandler said.

Overseeing that growing global space as part of a job managing NBA human resources that total nearly 1,000 league employees is just one more challenge met by Chandler, who came to the NBA in 2007 from The Walt Disney Co. Over the past year, she has had to deal with human resources issues related to the lockout that delayed the start of last season. Among those issues: Some 400 jobs across the NBA’s 30 teams and its league office were cut over the course of the lockout. Chandler this year will be working to implement new management-level programs designed to further integrate overseas employees into the NBA’s brand. “It is a deep dive to help them understand our brand more,” Chandler said.

— John Lombardo
  • Crowning professional achievement: Moving to Hong Kong in 2006 to be the head of human resources for Hong Kong Disneyland.
  • Biggest professional disappointment: Very early in my career, I witnessed a senior executive tell a blatant lie. Prior to that, I never envisioned that as a possibility.
  • What is the best advice you’ve ever received?: Don’t take your job for granted. Never forget: No matter how good you are, the company can go on without you.
  • How would you describe effective business leadership?: Have a point of view and express it, but know when to hold and know when to fold. Be authentic, have a strong backbone, and communicate in straight talk — with kindness.
  • Person who had the biggest influence on your career in sports: It’s a three-headed person: David Stern, for demonstrating the real meaning of diversity by appreciating authenticity in leadership and allowing me to be me; George Bodenheimer, for his career coaching, incredible leadership and support of me; and John Rose, for bringing me into the industry by recommending me as his replacement as head of human resources for ESPN.
  • My vision of success is …: Working hard and playing hard. The former allows the latter, and without the latter, why bother with the former?
  • Outside of work and family, I’m spending a lot of my time on …: The beach.


“Kerry is a fantastic coach and champion of our employees. She has brought to us an enormous amount of innovation and new ideas for our programs. She is a straight-talker who through her actions and policies has demonstrated unparalleled commitment to the diversity and development of our employees.”

  • Adam Silver, NBA deputy commissioner