As it turned out, where there's smoke, there's fire. Or a firing. Or a stepping down. Or whatever they decide to spin it as.
The parties involved in the Sixers CEO Carnival made the long-rumored official, as Scott O'Neil takes over as the Sixers CEO position from Adam Aron, who retains his part in the ownership group. Aron's departure, first reported two weeks ago by Howard Eskin, and then denied by the Sixers, was confirmed this time by Aron to AP writer Dan Gelston and reported on again this morning by Eskin.
Adam Aron tells The AP it was his decision to step aside as he pursues another business interest. "I wasn't pushed, shoved or asked to go."— Dan Gelston (@APgelston) July 8, 2013
Gelston has a full story on this for AP. O'Neil held a similar position to this for MSG, which owns the Knicks and Rangers and is very familiar with public relations messes like the one surrounding the CEO change, because, I mean, the Knicks. Progress!
There's no other way to describe this situation than as a mess. As mentioned above, the initial reports of Aron's dismissal leaked two weeks ago then were denied, many hours later, by the team through PR. The reports kept leaking that O'Neil would become the CEO here, but then Aron tweeted that he was on vacation but nothing has changed since he's gone. Obviously, that was a lie, unless everything developed exactly as reported two weeks ago over the last two weeks.
This also resembles, to a tee, the way Doug Collins's dismissal was handled. Reports surfaced that Collins was leaving, that the Sixers and Doug wanted the change. They were denied, and then not much later when Collins "resigned," everything went down as reported. Denying reports only to have them transpire when the organization wants them to is not a good look, PR-wise or otherwise.
Anyway, now that this mess is over, on to the next one. Presumably, the Sixers will next hire a coach, deny the report indicating said hiring, and then announce that coach's hiring two days later.