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Washington executive Damon Jones, a key player in stadium search, leaves for L.A. Dodgers

Damon Jones, the Washington Football Team's chief legal officer, with Julie Andreeff Jensen, its former senior vice president of external engagement and communications, in June 2021. Jensen left the organization last September, and Jones is now leaving to become an assistant GM for the L.A. Dodgers. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post)
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Just 14 months after he joined the Washington Football Team’s remade executive team and became an integral part of its push for a new stadium, chief legal officer Damon Jones is leaving the organization to become a vice president, assistant general manager and baseball legal counsel for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“Damon has been a key leader on our team and has helped our organization through a period of significant change and transition since joining us in 2020,” Washington said in a statement Tuesday.

Effective Friday, the team’s vice president and deputy general counsel, Mali Friedman, will be promoted to chief legal officer and senior vice president of business affairs.

“As an extension of her previous role … Mali will oversee the Team’s Legal and Business Affairs function and provide organization-wide legal and strategic support,” Washington said in its statement. “Mali and Damon have been working closely together to ensure a smooth transition.”

The move comes just two weeks before Washington plans to reveal its name and rebranded uniforms Feb. 2.

Jones, a former Covington & Burling attorney who has degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of California Santa Barbara, joined the Washington Football Team in November 2020 as one of the first hires under team president Jason Wright. As Washington set out remake its business operations and develop a plan for a new stadium, Jones was tabbed to help in all facets and was appointed the lead of its internal stadium team, which toured multiple venues across the United States and overseas last year as Washington began to form a plan for its next stadium.

For Jason Wright, WFT’s outsider president, the future is all about change

Jones spent nearly 13 years with the Washington Nationals as their senior vice president and general counsel, handling player contracts and collective bargaining issues while also playing a key role in the development of Nationals Park, which opened in 2008.

“Damon was brought in not because he’s just a good legal mind but because he’s a great business thinker,” Wright told The Washington Post in an interview last spring. “ … It was such a coup for us to get him. He has a future as a sports CEO. I don’t know how long I’m going to be able to keep him, honestly. He’s going to be a team president one day, probably in [Major League Baseball], but he’ll be a team president. I’ll give it no more than 24 months.”

Jones is the latest among a handful of Washington business executives to leave in recent months. Julie Andreeff Jensen, its senior vice president of external engagement and communications, and Scott Shepherd, its chief partnership officer, both left in September to “pursue new and exciting opportunities,” according to a statement from Wright at the time. Chris Bloyer, a longtime executive for the team who was most recently its senior vice president of operations and guest experience, also left this month.

Ryan Moreland was hired as the team’s new chief partnership officer, and Trista Langdon was recently appointed to Bloyer’s former position.

Friedman, another Covington & Burling alum with degrees from Princeton University and Stanford Law School, joined the Washington Football Team in 2021 after serving as the vice president of legal and business affairs with the XFL. She previously held roles with the Golden State Warriors and the NHL.