ATLANTA (AP) - Bernie Mullin resigned as president of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers, and a member of the ownership group doesn't expect he'll be replaced.
Michael Gearon Jr., an Atlanta-based member of the ownership group, said Mullin's resignation Tuesday will set up a more efficient management of the teams.
Mullin had been president and chief executive officer of Atlanta Spirit, representing the ownership group for the Hawks, the Thrashers and Philips Arena, since 2004.
``As far as the transition goes, it's seamless,'' Gearon told The Associated Press. ``There's no impact at all to the operations.''
Gearon said the ``mutual decision'' for Mullin and chief financial officer Bill Duffy to resign ``has nothing to do with the teams'' but was a result of the ownership group's active role in the operations of the teams.
``We've gotten to know the management team very well and we're very comfortable with them and we don't need somebody between them and us,'' Gearon said. ``There's no negative feelings on either side.''
Executives who have reported directly to Mullin now will report to the owners, including Gearon, who will be the point man for the Hawks (17-20). Gearon already serves as the team's NBA governor, the member of the group who must sign off on all trades.
The move comes as the Thrashers (23-24) are preparing to host the NHL All-Star game on Sunday.
Mullin could not be reached for comment, and spokesmen for the Hawks and Thrashers said no official release on the resignation was expected Tuesday.
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