New York Jets owner Woody Johnson has announced a restructuring of his senior management team, naming Matt Higgins, Thad Sheely and Mike Tannenbaum as executive vice presidents while also offering best wishes to departing president Jay Cross.
"I appreciate all of Jay's contributions for the past eight years, particularly his efforts to build a new stadium for the New York Jets and a new home in Florham Park," Johnson said.
Cross, who is starting a new career as president of Related Hudson Yards in Manhattan, told Jets employees he will be making his "bittersweet" move at the end of this month to pursue a dream of "running a major real estate project in the heart of a great city."
"I'm so very proud of what we have accomplished here at the Jets since Woody took over in 2000," Cross said. "I'm confident this organization is well positioned to make the exciting transition to Florham Park and the New Meadowlands Stadium."
Those two projects and a transformation of the franchise's business side into one of the top sales operations in the NFL are Cross' Green & White legacies. He came to the Jets in 2000 directly from the NBA's Miami Heat, where he was the driving force behind the American Airlines Arena, and set to work on getting the Jets a new stadium.
The result is the $1.3 billion, 82,500-seat stadium in the Meadowlands, owned equally by the Jets and Giants, that is scheduled to open for the 2010 season.
And shortly after the conclusion of their 40th training camp at their Weeb Ewbank Hall training facility on the Hofstra University campus this summer, the Jets will be moving to the state-of-the-art Atlantic Health Jets Training Center in Florham Park, N.J.
The training center, Johnson has said, "will give us the tools we need to compete at the highest level," and the stadium "will reflect our traditions, our values, our team."
Cross referred to Johnson as "a great owner who has afforded us unprecedented support." Now Johnson expects a seamless transition and will throw his support behind his new management team.
Higgins, in his fifth season with the Jets, will oversee all elements of business operations, including marketing, sponsorships, legal, human resources, public affairs, merchandising, Internet and broadcasting opportunities.
Sheely, in his eighth season with the Jets, will be responsible for team finances, the ongoing construction of the training center and the stadium, information technology, ticket operations and analysis of new business ventures.
Tannenbaum, in his 12th season with the team and named general manager in 2006, will continue to manage all football operations, including the coaching staff, pro and college scouting, salary cap management, video and football technologies, equipment, training and medical personnel.