Report: Magic CEO Bob Vander Weide to retire effective immediately
In the newest edition of As the Magic Turn, we come across the leader of the organization who has decided to suddenly “retire”. As first reported by David Pingalore of WKMG, the resignation will take effect immediately. Current President Alex Martins will step in as CEO and will also serve as the Orlando Magic rep for the remainder of the NBA Lockout Negotiations.
While many rumors are floating around Twitter and the internetz about a potential inappropriate late night phone call placed to Dwight Howard, nothing has been confirmed about what that conversation consisted of or if it even took place. The Orlando Sentinel spoke with Alex Martins who both confirmed the Vander Weide exit as well as confirmed that Otis Smith, BVW and Dwight Howard meeting yesterday.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel writes, “Martins said Vander Weide’s decision to step down has nothing to do with Howard, who can become a free agent after the 2011-12 season. Martins said Vander Weide had been planning to step down for months but wanted to wait until the NBA’s labor dispute was resolved.”
Josh Robbins also reported that “Dan DeVos, who is Rich DeVos’ son, will take on the responsibilities as the team’s chairman and serve as the DeVos family’s primary conduit with team front-office officials on team matters”.
I spoke with a source with strong knowledge of the situation who confirms Alex Martins statement regarding BVW wanting to step down for months. It is believed that it was a mutual decision to split and that none of the extracurricular reports, no matter how funny, are the reason for his sudden departure. Clearly, if his goal was to retire at the end of the lockout negotiations it wouldn’t make much sense for him to step away less than a week before it has been finalized. My guess, purely a guess, is that the rumors (and their appears to be many more that haven’t been reported) did play at least somewhat of a role in his decision to retire early.
Bob Vander Weide became Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Magic in 1992 and became President in 1994. He was named to the title of CEO in 2010. His wife is the daughter of Magic owner Rich DeVos. You can read the bios of both Vander Weide and Alex Martins here.