Philadelphia 76ers CEO Scott O’Neil is leaving the organization to pursue new opportunities, according to a team press release. Below, a portion of the release.
CAMDEN, N.J. – JUNE 30, 2021 – After eight successful years guiding Harris Blitzer Sports & Entertainment (HBSE) through exponential growth and expansion, CEO Scott O’Neil has elected to step away from the organization in order to pursue new opportunities. O’Neil has over two decades of leadership experience within the sports and entertainment industry, including his most recent tenure with HBSE, a leading sports and entertainment company centered around marquee assets, the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils.
“I would like to thank Josh Harris and David Blitzer for inspiring, engaging and empowering me to bring together the most talented executive team in sports and entertainment,” O’Neil said. “Josh and David are extraordinary leaders, partners and friends. Their commitment to our teams, brands, employees – and most importantly – their commitment to serving the City of Philadelphia, Newark and Camden – made our success together possible. To be trusted with the opportunity to steward epic brands – as well as buy, build, integrate, acquire, and grow complimentary businesses to create HBSE as it is today – has been the ride of a lifetime, one for which I am humbled and grateful.”
“HBSE is the best organization I have ever been a part of, with the highest degree of difficulty I have ever encountered, and the most fun I have ever had, because every day brought a new opportunity to learn and develop. This company has grown through a culture of extraordinary teammates willing to be innovative, having the discipline to do the work, and a courage to lead from the front. While I thoroughly enjoyed every moment of my time here, I am even more excited to build, grow, and drive my next platform.”
“Scott has accomplished so much on behalf of the organization in a relatively short amount of time, driving our growth, culture, and commitment to strengthening the communities in which we live, work, play, and win,” said HBSE Co-Founder Josh Harris. “I cannot overstate how much we value Scott’s enormous contributions to the company and how grateful I am for his leadership and partnership in creating a best-in-class culture at HBSE. We know he will find great success in whatever he chooses to accomplish in the future, and we will always be among his biggest advocates.”
“We are immensely grateful to Scott for his partnership over these past eight years of unprecedented growth,” said HBSE Co-Founder David Blitzer. “His ambition, strategic outlook, and innovative mindset have been and will continue to be instrumental to the long-term success of our business. On behalf of everyone at HBSE, we thank Scott for his transformational leadership, drive and passion, and we look forward to celebrating his future successes.”
Pretty big news for a late June morning. O’Neil has served the team in a significant capacity, helping to give the ownership group healthy early returns on their investment. But over the course of his tenure, he has drawn the ire of many Sixers fans, specifically advocates of Sam Hinkie and the Process. However you feel about O’Neil, it’s certain that his departure leaves a big hole in the front office structure. It will be interesting to see who the Sixers go with as his replacement.