Familiar pattern for Browns owner Haslam

Familiar pattern for Browns owner Haslam
February 15, 2014, 4:45 pm
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What owner Jimmy Haslam did with the Cleveland Browns — firing the guys he had brought in to run the club after one year — isn’t unprecedented in Haslam’s business history.

As reported by cleveland.com, Haslam did much the same thing with the business he built into a behemoth, Pilot Flying J, the national truck stop company. And in that case, Haslam didn’t even wait a year.

After buying the Browns in 2012, Haslam yielded his position as chief executive officer of Pilot Flying J to John Compton, the president of PepsiCo. But five months later, Haslam decided he wanted to be CEO again.

With the Browns, Haslam has “ensconced himself firmly at the top, leaving no doubt who was running the team,” cleveland.com reports. “That does not surprise people who know the business of sports and, especially, the people who know Jimmy Haslam. Where some observers see a naive and trigger-happy new owner, others see a gutsy and decisive executive returning to form.”

Having replaced head coach Rob Chudzinski with Mike Pettine and fired CEO Joe Banner and GM Mike Lombardi, Haslam now will have Pettine and new general manager Ray Farmer reporting directly to him. It’s not a Dallas Cowboys situation, where owner Jerry Jones also serves as GM, but Haslam has a firm hold on the Browns’ operations.

James Kahler, a sports management expert who once worked in the Cleveland Cavaliers front office, told cleveland.com: “I look at it as him announcing, 'I'm going to streamline this at the top. I'm going to be more involved.' I kind of like the way he has it structured now. He's got a lot more touch points with the guys who are really running the team. It's a model not unusual around the league."

[RELATED: Weeden the next to leave Cleveland?]