Atlanta Falcons owner and chairman Arthur Blank plans to hire a CEO to oversee all of his businesses, including the Falcons, he said in a statement released to ESPN.com on Wednesday night.
The news of Blank’s intention to hirea CEO was first reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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Blank, co-founder of Home Depot, from which he retired in 2001, owens the Falcons, MLS Atlanta, PGA Tour Superstore, The Arthur Blank Family Foundation, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch and AMB Group.
Blank purchased the Falcons in 2002 for roughly $545 million, now worth according to Forbes, around $1.125 billion
The 73 years multibillionaire told Vaughn McClure of ESPN, “I have a strong desire to spend more quality time with my family, which now includes four-going-on-five grandchildren, as well as to concentrate more of my time on our philanthropic endeavors. And while I will always be heavily involved in our business strategies, I now feel that the best role I can play in our businesses is one of founder, chairman and most senior cheerleader, spending less time on the day-to-day management oversight.”
“We will be thoughtful and deliberate in filling this position, as finding the right person is more important than finding someone soon, ” Blank added. “This person needs to pass the cultural fit test, and it’s also important to me that he or she is capable of retaining, motivating and developing the teams that we have in place in all of our businesses.”
Rich McKay is in his fourth year as the president and CEO of the Falcons will work under the new CEO, the paper said.
In 2014 McKay signed a four-year contract extension through 2019.
Blank’s health had nothing to do with the decision, he told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.