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After 17 years, Fred Whitfield steps down from Charlotte Hornets

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Charlotte Hornets
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Fred Whitfield

The Charlotte Hornets’ longtime president and vice chairman, Fred Whitfield, is leaving the organization to focus on his health and family.

“Over the last 18 months I have successfully battled a serious case of throat cancer. I’ve also been focused on supporting my mother, who has her own health issues,” Whitfield said in a prepared statement Wednesday.

“As these priorities have occupied more of my time and energy, I realized that now is the right time to leave my role with the Hornets, who are on a tremendous path to success with the energy and ideas brought by our new owners, Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin. I’m grateful to them for their support during this challenging time, and I also want to thank the prior ownership groups under the leadership of Bob Johnson and Michael Jordan for giving me such a tremendous opportunity."

Whitfield has led the team’s business operations for more than 17 years. He joined the organization in 2006 as president & chief operating officer when the franchise was still called the Charlotte Bobcats. He oversaw the team’s transition to the Charlotte Hornets in 2014.

Whitfield’s title changed to president and vice chairman in 2018.

“We thank Fred for all he has done for our organization and for the role he has played in helping get our ownership group up to speed over the last several months,” said Hornets co-owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin, who bought a majority stake in the team this year from Michael Jordan. “His experience, knowledge and relationships in this industry, league and community have been invaluable to our franchise. We appreciate his hard work and dedication and wish him all the best.”

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