On Tuesday, Jimmy Haslam III was unanimously approved as the Browns’ new owner by the rest of the NFL’s owners.
And his first order of business? Relieving Mike Holmgren of his duties as president. He will retire at the end of this season and Joe Banner will be the new CEO/president of the Browns, effective immediately.
“Mike has decided that his role would change a lot, with us coming in and taking a more active role,” said Haslam. “Effective at the end of the season, Mike will leave the team and retire. He will work very closely with us over the next three months to make sure the transition goes smoothly; he’s committed to doing everything he can to make the Browns a good football team.”
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, nor should it be looked at as the beginning of a reign of terror for Haslam. While it was a quick announcement, it has been widely speculated that Holmgren has been looking to move on, possibly even after this season. With the change in ownership, it became the right time to do so. But Holmgren can also leave knowing he has helped put the team on the right track. What happens after that is now out of his hands.
Haslam has made it known that no other personnel changes will take place during the season; everyone will be evaluated when it ends. That certainly won’t take the pressure off this team, though, as each loss might help to seal the fate of the front office and coaching staff.
In other words, they’re safe…for now.