Seahawks Insider

Leiweke’s out: What does it mean for Hawks?

Post by Eric Williams on July 26, 2010 at 11:41 am with 11 Comments »
July 26, 2010 3:03 pm
Tod Leiweke, CEO of the Seattle Seahawks/ AP Photo Ralph Radford

Change continues to be the operative word for the leadership positions among the Seattle Seahawks franchise, as another move occurred at the top of the food chain with Vulcan Sports & Entertainment CEO Tod Leiweke stepping down to join the Tampa Bay Lightning as CEO and part owner.

The ability for Leiweke to be a part-owner with the Lightning is viewed as the deal clincher in Tampa Bay, who relentlessly pursued Leiweke’s services. There’s no feeling that Leiweke was forced out from the people that I’ve talked to. Leiweke will also assist in the hiring effort of his predecessor, another sign he’s leaving the Seahawks with a good relationship with owner Paul Allen still in place.

Leiweke was viewed as owner Paul Allen’s right-hand man in his dealings with the Seahawks, the Seattle Sounders and the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. Hopefully we get a chance to talk to Leiweke this afternoon about his departure, but he was viewed a shrewd businessman and marketing guru in terms of his dealings with sports teams.

And Leiweke had been viewed as a calming influence in a volatile year for the Seahawks, with Seattle firing president and general manager Tim Ruskell and head coach Jim Mora within a month of each other. Leiweke led the process in hiring head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider, with Carroll winning the coin flip over personnel matters.

The Trail Blazers also had some turmoil of their own, with the announcement of general manager Kevin Pritchard’s firing at the end of this year’s draft. The Blazers hired former Seattle SuperSonics and Oklahoma City Thunder cap specialist Rich Cho to replace Pritchard.

Whomever the Seahawks hire will be one of the new leadership voices of Vulcan Sports moving forward. Leiweke appears to have solidified the leadership of the Seahawks with the hiring of Carroll and Schneider. But the new CEO will be in charge of both of those guys along with the direction of the business side of the franchise, so it’s an important position.

Leiweke for the most part worked in the background during the Mike Holmgren and Tim Ruskell era, but was thrust into the spotlight during Ruskell’s firing in December. He went to bat for Holmgren and Mora but ultimately failed in both attempts.

His position will serve as one of the faces of the Seahawks’ franchise around the league, so Seattle should look for a somewhat personable figure who can work as a taskmaster in managing Allen’s sports franchises.

Leiweke also was the person Carroll answered to, so it will be interesting to see if that chain of command changes when a new person is hired.

Front office
Leave a comment Comments → 11
  1. Dukeshire says:

    I imagine that chain of command would not change. If for no other reason than, as you pointed out, the position encompasses far more than simply the Seahawks. Now, if that is redefined, and the ‘Hawks, Sounders and Blazers all have positions at the top independent to Vulcan and to themselves, that’s a different story. I can’t imagine this is a position that will be filled for quite some time. The search, short of them already having someone in mind, will make the ‘Hawks GM search look like a knee jerk reaction. Hundreds of millions of dollars at stake.

  2. Kevindot1 says:

    Too bad he didn’t resign before hiring Carroll.

  3. I would not be surprised of the organizational structure changed. Tod was the chief executive of the Seahawks, but the other franchises had their own chief executives. The fact he was CEO of the Seahawks and the Head of Vulcan Sports could be two jobs. The structure was that way because Tod retained his title of CEO of the Seahawks when he was promoted to the head of Vulcan Sports. I think they might promote someone already in the front office to CEO of the Seahawks, and hire someone else to be the head of Vulcan Sports.

  4. Dukeshire says:

    It’s a distinct possibility. And if that’s the case and they promote within, COO John Rizzardini would be the logical choice.

  5. zombiehooliganfc says:

    So wait, does this or does this not spell the end of the Seahawks season? I want to make sure my insane reaction is correct.

  6. nighthawk2 says:

    About damn time! I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I view Tod Leiweke as being as much a part of the problem was Tim Ruskell and Jim Mora were. Couldn’t be happier that he’s gone. Don’t care what the terms he left on were, as long as he’s gone. Heard Holmgren on Softy today talking about this, he was very gracious and said all the nice things about Leiweke, but I’m still convinced that Leiweke was the reason that Holmgren is not team president and GM today. And I like the Pete Carroll hiring. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out Tod.

  7. One question I’m left with: How bad is Allen’s health? Is part of the issue that perhaps TL & Allen’s sister don’t get along as well as he does with PA, or even that TL believes Jody will sell the teams if PA passes?

  8. Why not go on the Jerry Springer Show? Find out fer yer selv.. Next best option is a local corner store physic…

    I’ll stick with TL’s first love is hockey… ya know… still playin’ in a beer league in his off time and the op 2 own a team.

    good liuck with that thought tho

  9. I knew nighthawk would be happy!

    If it’s not football or baseball; I really don’t care.

  10. Second in line behind zombiehooliganfc. I brought a gas can, just in case.

  11. nighthawk2 says:

    Baseball? Ewwwwwww.

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