WASHINGTON (AP) -Susan O'Malley, the NBA's first and only female president of an NBA franchise, is leaving the Washington Wizards.
O'Malley became president of the Wizards in 1991 and quickly earned a league-wide reputation for a marketing savvy that helped draw new fans to a team that had been struggling at the gate. She also oversaw the business operations of the NHL's Washington Capitals from 1995-1999.
``Susan has been my right hand through the past 20 years and has helped guide the fortunes of our company,'' Wizards owner Abe Pollin said. ``She has simply been fantastic in every way, from the moment she came here to the present, and I will always be thankful for her guidance and leadership.''
O'Malley's contract expires June 30, but she said she will remain an adviser with the team through the 10th anniversary celebration of the Verizon Center in December.
``Mr. Pollin put an enormous amount of faith in me and my abilities and I have learned a great deal from him,'' O'Malley said in a statement. ``At the same time, the company itself is in a very good place, with our basketball team continuing to be successful both on and off the floor, and the Verizon Center, which is attracting fans in record numbers, undergoing a facelift to celebrate its 10th anniversary. This is a good time to make this transition and to pass the torch to someone else.''
O'Malley, 45, graduated from the law school at Georgetown University last month. She said she will take a vacation before announcing her future plans.
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