In the first move since the banning of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, the NBA has tapped former Citigroup and Time Warner CEO Richard Parsons to handle the team’s business operations. Parsons, who is Black, will serve as an interim CEO for the Clippers, and will have little, if any, involvement on the basketball side of things.
Parsons, 66, was selected by the NBA’s Advisory and Finance Committee after discussions on how to handle Sterling’s removal after the owner’s controversial racist statements continue to take place. Parsons found favor with the Committee and the league overall based on his former stints in high-profile positions.
NBA reporter David Aldridge writes:
The league settled on Parsons in the last few days, with the 66-year-old executive’s background at the highest levels of the business world making him a favored choice for the position. The league announced last week that Clippers president Andy Roeser would be taking an indefinite leave of absence to clear room for the new CEO, which the NBA believes is necessary to bring “stability” to the team in the wake of Sterling’s remarks.
Parsons is not expected to be involved in making any basketball decisions for the Clippers, with head coach Doc Rivers continuing to have final say on all aspects of that side of the business. Parsons is expected to be in Los Angeles as early as next week.
Parsons retired from Citigroup in 2012, after helping the company right itself during the financial crisis that gripped the nation over the course of the past ten-plus years. Parsons wasn’t idle in his retirement with Aldridge writing that the businessman and New York native recently invested in the renovation of Minton’s Playhouse, a popular jazz club in Harlem in the ’40s and ’50s.
The Committee will suggest a vote to remove Sterling from his ownership post, with the NBA’s Board Of Governors looking to begin the voting process in the next few weeks. Sterling has stubbornly vowed not to sell the team, which could spark a long legal battle.
Photo: Baruch College