The CEO of the parent company that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils has resigned after eight years
PHILADELPHIA — Scott O’Neill, the parent company CEO that owns the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils, has resigned after an eight-year run in which he shepherded the process and the Prudential Center.
O’Neill announced Wednesday that he is leaving Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment after he helped lead several projects under the HBSE banner such as the Grammy Museum at the Prudential Center and the construction of a state-of-the-art Sixers complex. new Jersey. O’Neill, who previously led Madison Square Garden Sports, said he had no more work to do. HBSE did not immediately name a successor.
O’Neill replaced Adam Aaron in 2013, who is now CEO of AMC Entertainment, and served under Sixers & Devils owners Josh Harris and David Blitzer. The owners merged their stake in 2017 and formed HBSE. HBSE expanded in ownership with other sports and entertainment companies.
“I’m leaving because it’s time,” O’Neill said over the phone. “I remember what it was like when we first got here, and to think that we’ve grown this business more than six times in eight years to over $2 billion in value, that’s what I do. Hypergrowth, super growth. I think the right person to come here will be an amazing steward of this brand for years to come. But I think I’ve done what I’ve come here to do.”
O’Neill, who recently wrote the motivational book “Be Where Your Feet Are,” said he decided around January that he wanted to leave HBSE and that he maintains a strong relationship with Blitzer and Harris.
“I cannot overstate how much we value Scott’s enormous contribution to the company and how grateful I am for his leadership and partnership in creating a best-in-class culture at HBSE,” Harris said. “We know he will be a great success in whatever he wants to achieve in the future, and we will always be among his biggest advocates.”
O’Neill, a Villanova graduate, has local ties with the Philadelphia Eagles from a previous job as vice president of sales. He began his career as a marketing assistant for the New Jersey Nets.
The Sixers were eliminated in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs after earning the top seed. The Devils have missed the playoffs for three consecutive seasons.
O’Neill said in 2014 that “we don’t use the word ‘T’ in this organization,” referencing the tanking when the Sixers were in the early days of their investigation, known as The Process. .
The Sixers were 29th in attendance at the time, a private medical school had a minor league facility and no Stars, and they soon went through a metamorphosis that saw them open a new campus in Camden in 2016, all- Stars drafted Joel Embiid and shoot at the top of Ben Simmons and NBA appearance. The Sixers also became the first team in the NBA to put the sponsorship logo on a player’s uniform.
“I think the total transformation in the growth of business, brand and relevance in the city, the country is probably the biggest thing,” O’Neill said. “I want people to know that Josh and David care about this organization, they care about winning, and that they put resources into it.”
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