Jimmy Haslam III, whose $1.05 billion purchase of the Browns was unanimously approved by NFL owners Tuesday morning, didn't waste much time in making his first major move. Within a few hours of the approval, Haslam replaced president Mike Holmgren with Joe Banner, according to a sources reporting to ESPN's Ed Werder. Banner was president of the Eagles and had been with the organization for 18 years before departing in June. Haslam will hold a press conference Tuesday afternoon to announce the Banner move.
The news of Haslam's approval was met with positive reactions from fans and analysts. ESPN's Chris Fedor tweeted:
Haslam, a Tennessee billionaire who earned his fortune from Pilot Flying J truck stops, has been a 12.5% minority partner in the Steelers since 2008 but divested that stock to buy the Browns, according to an NFL report
. The Browns' previous owner, Al Lerner, was voted in as owner in September 1998; when he died of a brain tumor in 2002, his son Randy Lerner took over. The team has had only two winning seasons since the Lerner family took over (9-2 in 2002 and 10-6 in 2007), and the franchise's overall record since 1999 is 69-146 through Sunday's win against the Bengals. Haslam has said his mission is to bring winning football back to Cleveland.