The NBA Board of Governors has approved the appointment of Adam Silver to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, effective July 1, 2006. The announcement was made in conjunction with a meeting of the Board of Governors, taking place April 18-19 in New York City.
A 14-year veteran of the league office, Silver will assume his expanded responsibilities when current NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Russ Granik steps down at the conclusion of the 2005-06 season after a 30-year career in the league office. Granik has served as the league's second-in-command for the last 22 years.
NBA Commissioner David Stern also announced two additional promotions, effective July 1, 2006. Joel Litvin, the league's Executive Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, has been promoted to the newly created position of President, League and Basketball Operations, reporting to Stern. Heidi Ueberroth, the league's Executive Vice President, Global Media Properties and Marketing Partnerships, will become President, Global Marketing Partnerships and International Business Operations, reporting to Silver.
“Adam Silver's appointment as the league's Deputy Commissioner serves as the recognition of his significant contributions to the success and growth of the league and shows the great respect and confidence that our owners have in his leadership abilities,” said Stern. “Among his contributions are his oversight of the rapid expansion of the NBA's global and digital activities and his participation in our last three collective bargaining agreements.”
“Today's appointments also demonstrate the extraordinarily deep bench that exists at the league office,” said Stern. “With 14 years, 18 years and 12 years served, respectively, Adam, Joel and Heidi are long-term contributors to the NBA who have worked with Russ and me throughout a period of dynamic growth and activity for the league.”
Added Stern, “Joel and Heidi are two of the sports industry's outstanding executives – Joel in all team and franchise matters related to the game of basketball, collective bargaining, our relationship with the players association and our dealings with the owners, and Heidi in all business aspects in the increasingly global environment of professional sports. Together these executives have led their respective areas in a way that has earned them widespread respect and emulation and have the NBA well positioned to continue our evolution into being the most successful and most respected sports leagues in the world.”
There will be additional announcements regarding executive appointments forthcoming.
In his role as President and COO, NBA Entertainment, Silver oversaw all of the NBA and WNBA's business units including television, merchandising, internet, marketing and communications, player programs, community relations, marketing partnerships, media sales and event management. Under Silver's direction, NBA Entertainment developed NBA.com and NBA TV and has become one of the largest providers of sports programming in the world, securing deals in 215 countries in 43 languages.
Silver, 43, joined the NBA in 1992 as Special Assistant to the Commissioner. He became NBA Chief of Staff in 1993; Senior Vice President and COO, NBA Entertainment, in 1995; and then President and COO, NBA Entertainment, in 1997. In 2000, NBA Entertainment and NBA Properties were reorganized, with the operations of the two companies combined under Silver.
Prior to joining the NBA, Silver served as a litigation associate at the New York law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore and as a law clerk to Judge Kimba Wood at the Federal District Court in New York City. Silver, a 1984 graduate of Duke University, received his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Chicago Law School in 1988.
As President, League and Basketball Operations, Litvin will be responsible for overseeing areas such as collective bargaining, franchise transactions, basketball operations and legal matters. He will also oversee player and community programs, including NBA Cares, the league's global outreach initiative. For the past six years, Litvin has served as Executive Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, working with owners on all league business matters.
Litvin, 47, joined the NBA in 1988 as staff attorney and held titles of Assistant General Counsel, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel before being named Senior Vice President and General Counsel in 1999 and Executive Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs in 2000. A 1981 graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Litvin received his law degree from New York University in 1985, whereupon he joined the New York law firm of Willkie, Farr & Gallagher.
In the newly created position of President, Global Marketing Partnerships and International Business Operations, Ueberroth will be responsible for the development and distribution of NBA content worldwide in all forms of media, including television, digital media and publishing. She will direct the NBA's business initiatives globally and the operation of the league's nine international offices, and will continue to oversee the league's expanding list of marketing partnerships with global marketers and advertising sales within the league's extensive media inventory.
Ueberroth, 40, joined the NBA in 1994 as Director of International Media Programs. She became Vice President, International Television in January 1997; Senior Vice President, International Television and Business Development in February 1999; and Executive Vice President of Global Media Properties and Marketing Partnerships in January 2000.
Prior to joining the NBA, Ueberroth worked for Ohlmeyer Communications Company as the Director of Sales and Marketing for the company's sports and entertainment properties and continued in the position when ESPN/Capital Cities acquired the company in 1993. She is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.