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Tony Wyllie, Redskins’ head of communications, is leaving the organization

Redskins senior vice president of communications Tony Wyllie, left, walks off the field with Coach Mike Shanahan in 2012. (Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post) (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

The Washington Redskins are losing another of their top executives. Senior Vice President Tony Wyllie is leaving for a management job with the Special Olympics, two people with knowledge of the move said Thursday.

Wyllie has run the Redskins’ communications department and played a prominent role in shaping the organization’s message in the 10 seasons he has been with the team.

He is considered to be a valuable troubleshooter for a team that has generated negative headlines, including for the high-profile dismissals of former head coach Mike Shanahan, former general manager Scot McCloughan and former president of business operations Brian Lafemina, who was fired in December just months after he was hired.

Wyllie is by far the longest-tenured public relations head in owner Daniel Snyder’s 20 years with the team. In Snyder’s tumultuous early years of ownership, public relations officials often left as frequently as head coaches. Wyllie arrived not long after Shanahan’s hiring in 2010 and managed the media dealings of both Shanahan and his successor, Jay Gruden.

106.7 the Fan first reported the news of Wyllie’s departure.

The Washington Post reported this summer that around 40 of the team’s business employees have left since Lafemina was fired in late December and team president Bruce Allen was placed in charge of both football and business operations, a role he had played before Lafemina was hired. That number has grown to well over 40, with many saying they were frustrated with the direction of the organization. Wyllie’s impending departure was characterized by one person with knowledge of the situation as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

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