NBA names Richard Parsons interim CEO of Los Angeles Clippers (updated)

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Update 6:49 p.m. 

Jeffrey Moorad, former CEO of the San Diego Padres and the Arizona Diamondbacks, praised the NBA's choice of Richard Parsons as interim CEO of the Clippers. 

“It’s a classic case of hiring at a higher level than even necessary,” said Moorad, who has taught the business of sports at UCLA. "It goes to show the importance that the NBA has put on Los Angeles and the Clippers situation and the unique dynamics that surround it."

The NBA is working to replace owner Donald Sterling who was banned from the league after being recorded making racist remarks about African-Americans and Latinos.

"The fact that Dick is African-American is a positive and just makes all the more sense,” Moorad said. 

-- KPCC's Josie Huang

Earlier:

The National Basketball Association has named former Citigroup chairman and former Time Warner chairman and CEO Richard "Dick" Parsons interim CEO of the Los Angeles Clippers, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced Friday, according to an NBA statement.

Parsons will assume his new role effective immediately. Clippers spokesman Seth Burton told KPCC that Parsons will be coming to Los Angeles early next week to meet with the organization.

“I believe the hiring of Dick Parsons will bring extraordinary leadership and immediate stability to the Clippers organization,” said Silver in the statement. “Dick’s credentials as a proven chief executive speak for themselves and I am extremely grateful he accepted this responsibility.”

Parsons is also currently a senior advisor at Providence Equity Partners and sits on the board of directors for the Commission on Presidential Debates, according to the NBA.

The appointment comes after the NBA banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling after Sterling made racist comments in released recordings.

RELATED: NBA bans Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, fines him $2.5M, looks to force sale (updated)

The NBA announced Tuesday that Los Angeles Clippers President Andy Roeser is taking an indefinite leave of absence.

“He’s still on an indefinite leave of absence until further notice and I’m sure something will be decided soon,” Burton told KPCC. 

RELATED: Clippers President Andy Roeser taking leave of absence following Donald Sterling ban

Parsons said the following in a statement:

Like most Americans, I have been deeply troubled by the pain the Clippers’ team, fans and partners have endured. A lifelong fan of the NBA, I am firmly committed to the values and principles it is defending, and I completely support Adam’s leadership in navigating the challenges facing the team and the league. The Clippers are a resilient organization with a brilliant coach and equally talented and dedicated athletes and staff who have demonstrated great strength of character during a time of adversity. I am honored to be asked to work with them, build on their values and accomplishments, and help them open a new, inspiring era for their team.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti says he wants LA to make a clean break from both Donald and Shelley Sterling, who are estranged but together own the Clippers.

Shelley Sterling announced earlier this week that she is separated from her husband and wants to retain her half of the ownership. 

RELATED: Attorney: Shelly Sterling wants to keep LA Clippers, will fight to retain ownership (updated)

Garcetti believes fans and sponsors will stay away from the team as long as any member of the Sterling family is involved. After Garcetti recently spoke with Donald Sterling, the mayor said he believes control of the Clippers could turn into a protracted fight. 

Some background on Parsons, from the NBA:

  • Attended University of Hawaii, where he played basketball, Earned a law degree from Albany Law School in 1971
  • Began legal career as a staff lawyer for New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller. When Rockefeller was appointed Vice President of the United States, Parsons followed him to Washington, where he also worked closely with President Gerald Ford.
  • Began career at Time Warner in 1995, joining as president and then becoming chairman and CEO from 2002 until 2008. 
  • In 2009, after retiring from Time Warner, he served as chairman of Citigroup until stepping down from that position in 2012.
  • Served as a member of President Barack Obama’s economic advisory team.  

 

Correction: An earlier version of this story featured an incorrect image. KPCC regrets the error.

With contributions by Josie Huang and Alice Walton

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