Mike Holmgren to leave Cleveland Browns after ownership change

October 16, 2012

Newly approved Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is eager to change the direction of a floundering franchise mired in a decade-long playoff drought.


Browns fans have had it up to here with their team’s struggles under Mike Holmgren. (Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

That new direction will not include current team president Mike Holmgren.

Haslam named former Philadelphia Eagles president Joe Banner the team’s new CEO at a Monday press conference and announced that Holmgren will relinquish the role when he retires at the end of the season, the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Mary Kay Cabot reports. ESPN’s Ed Werder and Adam Schefter first reported Holmgren’s departure.

“Mike has decided that with us coming in and taking a more active role — Mike has decided at the end of the year to leave the Cleveland Browns and retire,” Haslam said (via the Cleveland Plain Dealer). “Mike will work very closely with us over the next three, four months to ensure the transition goes as smoothly as possible.

“To assist with that transition, we are going to bring in Joe Banner. He will be the CEO of the team, effective Oct. 25. Joe and Mike will work together over the next three, three and a half months in a seamless fashion to bring a winner to the Cleveland Browns.”

Holmgren’s first season with the Browns was 2010, and under his watch, the team has compiled a dismal 10-28 record. Cleveland’s .263 winning percentage is second-worst in the NFL in that span, ESPN Stats & Info reports.

Haslam’s takeover of the franchise was officially approved Tuesday and the deal will be finalized on Oct. 25. He purchased the team from Randy Lerner for $1 billion in August and was previously a minority owner of the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.

Earlier this month, Haslam said he did not plan to make any personnel changes “until after the year.”

Holmgren is in the third year of a five-year deal and played a leading role in the hiring of Pat Shurmur as head coach. The Browns went 4-12 with Shurmur at the helm last season and won their first game of the 2012 season on Sunday against the Bengals to improve to 1-5.

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Matt Brooks · October 16, 2012

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