Last week the disgusting culture of sexual harassment residing in the organization of the Dallas Mavericks was brought to light, another example of the hidden world of sexual harassment which has long existed in the world of sports but which is finally being exposed.
It was a real life Animal House, says one former Mavericks’ employee. And I only say was because Im not there anymore. Im sure its still going on.
Under former Mavericks’ CEO and team president, Terdema Ussery, an “Animal House” like culture thrived, leaving many with emotional scars that still cut to this day.
But today a new day has arrived as the team has announced the hiring of Cynthia Marshall as the team’s new CEO. Through an exclusive with Black Enterprise, Marshall put the world on notice that’s she’s not having it and things will be changing for good.
Meeting with the Mavericks for the first time this morning, she laid out a plan for the next month. It includes completing the internal investigation already launched by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban; personally meeting with each of the organizations 141 employees; and formalizing a detailed process for transforming the organizations dysfunctional culture and refining its operational effectiveness, with an emphasis on all systems and policies related to reporting and addressing employee complaints.
We are committed to running a business of excellence, said Marshall, in an exclusive phone interview with Black Enterprise. Clearly we have work to do, and I walk in knowing that theres a lot that I dont know. But I do know how to lead, and how to effect necessary change in an organization.
All eyes will now be on Marshall, as she attempts to manage both the fallout and rebuilding of this beleaguered NBA franchise. Once the first African American cheerleader at UC Berkeley, the telecommunications veteran is now the NBAs first woman CEO.
Changing industries can be difficult under normal circumstances, but there will be a lot of people rooting for her and available to assist with the transition, says Kathleen Frances, chair and president of Women in Sports and Events (WISE), the leading voice and resource for women in the business of sports. It is a positive step to bring in someone with her experience and credentials. Adding women to the executive suite is always a good investment. That, coupled with the full support of ownership, will be critical to her success.
For the full story, visit Black Enterprise here.