Hymie Elhai (pronounced HI-me EL-hi) begins his third season as the president of the New York Jets after his appointment by Vice Chairman Christopher W. Johnson in 2019. Now in his 22nd year with the team, Elhai's commitment to the Jets is evident as he has helped to define the culture of the organization, while also garnering respect from across the league throughout his tenure.
"For over 20 years, Hymie has developed a deep level of respect from both sides of the building," said Christopher W. Johnson. "Specifically, I witnessed first-hand, his leadership, communication and organizational acumen."
Under Elhai, the Jets have solidified their business staff's senior leadership, as he oversees all team business operations, bringing his balance and perspective to those various departments, including: Communications, Community Relations, Content, Corporate & Premium Partnerships, Events & Game Operations, Facilities, Finance, Information Technology, Legal & Human Resources, Marketing, Security and Ticketing.
Playing a key role in hiring of the football leadership, Elhai worked with Christopher W. Johnson to hire General Manager Joe Douglas in 2019, and with both Johnson and Douglas to hire Head Coach Robert Saleh in 2021.
The collaboration among Elhai, Douglas and Saleh forms the foundation that will move the Jets toward their goal of being a sustained, winning franchise. Throughout his time as president, he has worked closely with the football staff, providing counsel and support for various organizational-encompassing objectives. Additionally, in his previous role as general counsel, he helped football administration on all planning initiatives.
"Seeing the dynamic of Robert, Joe and Hymie, and how they work together in a new and different way that I haven't seen before to this extent, I think it's a great harmony here and I'm really excited about it," said Chairman Robert Wood Johnson IV.
Among the important initiatives under Elhai was the formation of the Social Justice, Diversity and Inclusion Team (SJDIT) and the expansion of the Jets Women's Organization (JWO). The SJDIT helps steer the Jets as it relates to the process and execution of the team's Social Justice efforts as well as internal diversity and inclusion practices. The JWO now encompasses the many women affiliated with the organization, including staff members, wives and significant others of coaches, players, and football personnel, serving as a unique outlet to positively impact the workplace, industry, and community.
During the COVID-19 outbreak, Elhai and his staff worked closely with New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's office and the NFL, as the team developed their protocols. Prioritizing employee safety, his communication and direction helped manage the unprecedented uncertainty of a global pandemic, keeping the business staff optimized despite working remotely.
Beginning his Jets career in 2000 as an intern, Elhai previously served as the club's senior vice president, business affairs and general counsel, where he was responsible for all legal aspects of the team, including sponsorship, licensing, event, digital media, production and broadcasting agreements, and all employment related matters.
Born in Queens, NY, Elhai grew up a Jets fan, attending games at Shea Stadium. Those roots run deep in Elhai who is driven to bring success to the Jets, not just for the organization, but for the fans.
"I have a deep appreciation and respect for this franchise and for what it means to our fans," Elhai said following his appointment.
A Sports Business Journal Forty Under 40 honoree, Elhai is a graduate of Rutgers Law School and The Johns Hopkins University, where he played football and baseball. Elhai resides in Hoboken, NJ.