PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Joe Banner is no longer the president of the Philadelphia Eagles.
Banner will transition into the role of “Strategic Advisor to the Owner,” and Chief Operating Officer Don Smolenski will assume the role of President, according to an official release from the Eagles.
Smolenski joined the Eagles in 1998 as the club’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and was later promoted to Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer. In 2010, he was named the club’s Chief Operating Officer, according to the Eagles.
The release states that Banner and Eagles owner Jeff Lurie met over a year ago, to discuss the possibility of the move. Though Banner remains a part of the Eagles organization, he is free to pursue other opportunities (read report).
“There is no better executive in sports than Joe Banner,” Eagles owner Jeff Lurie said in a press release. “We are making this announcement today because he is looking for a greater challenge, and in Don Smolenski I have a highly regarded, very worthy successor as President of this team.” Lurie further noted, “Joe and I have achieved a great deal since I acquired the team. From building Lincoln Financial Field and the NovaCare Complex, to driving the work of the Eagles Youth Partnership and, of course, our successes on the field, Joe has been an integral part of everything we have done.”
“It has been my privilege to work with Jeffrey Lurie over all these years,” Banner said in the release. “Together we have built a talented front office team that is now ready to assume leadership of this extraordinary franchise. I plan to pursue a major new opportunity within the sports field – one that will enable me to apply all that I have learned as the Eagles president. I could never thank Jeff enough for the opportunity and support he has afforded me.”
“As I have stated before, the success of the team is most often credited to the players and coaches, but without the support and hard work of the front office, led by Joe Banner, we would not have achieved all that we accomplished,” Andy Reid said via press release.
The announcement comes on the heels of a March report in the LA Times that head coach Andy Reid threatened to leave the Eagles unless he was given more control over personnel.
When the team announced the re-signing of several players this off-season, Banner was noticeably absent at the press conferences.
94WIP’s Howard Eskin is reporting that Banner is interested in putting a group together to buy the Buffalo Bills.