PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia 76ers have a new face. Former MSG president Scott O’Neil will take on the role of CEO replacing Adam Aron.
The Sixers announced that O’Neil will take over as CEO on July 16th.
“On behalf of our entire ownership group, I am very excited to welcome Scott O’Neil to the Sixers,” Sixers owner Josh Harris said via press release. . “We believe that Scott’s unique blend of experience, relationships and demonstrated leadership over the past two decades at the NBA, Madison Square Garden Sports and the Philadelphia Eagles will make him the perfect CEO of our business as we work to take the team to the next level.
“With Scott and Sam Hinkie, President of Basketball Operations and General Manager, I believe we have put in place a dynamic, industry-leading management team that should help position the Sixers for success both on and off the court in the future,“ Harris said.
“I love the NBA and the game of basketball and am thrilled to be back. I have lived in and around Philadelphia for parts of my teens, 20s, 30s and now 40s and I am really excited to be back and get started with the Sixers. This is an incredible city that loves an underdog and that is very much what the Sixers are right now,” O’Neil told Bloomberg News. “The ownership group wants to win and has proven they are committed to invest the resources necessary to create a team that will have sustainable success on and off the court. Josh is smart, tough and as good a guy as he is a success. I couldn’t imagine finding a better fit for me and my family. This is going to be fun.”
“I think there’s a plan from Sam where this team will emerge over the next couple of years to be really competitive,” O’Neil told the AP. “Hopefully, it will create a really a sustainable, elite basketball team. I think we’ve got some good opportunities on the business side to grow alongside the team.”
“It’s a move of my making,” Adam Aron told the AP. “I wasn’t pushed, shoved or asked to go.”
“I could have remained in position as CEO of the 76ers, but this is what I wanted to do,” Aron told the AP. “It was always in my mind to see what I could be doing next with the owners of the Sixers from Day 1. If anything, I accelerated the timetable to move on when the opportunity became real to move on in this new investment role.”
The Associated Press reports that Aron will become the CEO of a new investment fund headed by the owners of the Sixers. Aron will keep his minority share of the team.
Aron has been the default face of the team since Harris’ group purchased the Sixers from Comcast Spectacor. He has been noticeably quieter on Twitter since the end of the season.
“I want to thank Adam Aron for his important contributions to the Sixers during a key period in the development of the team,” Harris said. “Adam was instrumental in re-engaging the Sixers fan base and guiding our ownership group. I am pleased he will remain active with the Sixers, and look forward to continuing to work closely with him as he aggressively explores investment possibilities.”
“I have enjoyed every single second of my association with the Philadelphia 76ers, and look forward to continuing to root for the Sixers as Co-Owner and Board member,” Aron said via press release. “Even so, as I look at the current investment landscape, my enthusiasm is boundless for what is to come as I commence an exciting new chapter in my career.”
The Sixers denied a report two weeks ago that Aron was “out” as the team’s CEO.