Suns president and CEO leaving organization

Suns president and CEO leaving organization

Credit: AP

In this March 19, 2010, photo, Rick Welts, president and CEO of the Phoenix Suns NBA basketball team, participates a discussion at Arizona State's Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication in Phoenix. Welts has revealed to the public that he is gay in a story posted on The New York Times' website. Welts said in the story Sunday, May 15, 2011, that he wants to break down one of the last significant social barriers in sports, one that has made headlines recently after Kobe Bryant's use of a gay slur on the basketball court and hockey player Sean Avery's support of same-sex marriage. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, David Wallace) MARICOPA COUNTY OUT NO SALES

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by Natalie Rivers

azfamily.com

Posted on September 9, 2011 at 11:36 AM

PHOENIX - The Phoenix Suns announced today that President and CEO Rick Welts is leaving the organization.

Welts last day with the organization is September 15.

General Counsel, Jason Rowley, will take over in the interim while a national search is conducted for the President position. Rowley has been with the Suns since 2008 as General Counsel.

Welts joined the Suns in 2002 as President and for the past two seasons had the additional title of CEO.

“I’m at a point in my life where my focus is to align my personal and professional life in a way I’ve never been able to achieve before,” said Welts. “The most important people in my personal life are not in Phoenix, and the Suns have been completely understanding and supportive of my request to leave in advance of the end of my contract.”

“My nine-plus years at the Suns have been incredibly rewarding thanks to a group of employees second to none in professional sports and the support of great ownership,” Welts continued. “The Suns organization has always been a special place to work, and I leave knowing that will continue to be true in the future.”

In a release from the team, Suns managing partner Robert Sarver said, “The entire Suns organization thanks Rick for his tireless work on behalf of the Suns. While he will be missed, we understand his desire to relocate outside of Arizona for personal reasons. We have a very talented executive team including Jason Rowley, whose familiarity with the Suns organization will allow him to manage the business operations seamlessly as we conduct our search for a new team president. Our search will include both internal and external candidates.”

Lon Babby remains as the President of Basketball Operations.

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