(ALLEN PARK, MI) – Detroit Lions Owner and Chairman Martha Firestone Ford announced today, effective immediately, that Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew have been relieved of their duties. Mrs Ford has appointed Vice President of Pro Personnel Sheldon White acting general manager to oversee the team’s football operations and Allison Maki interim Chief Operating Officer to oversee the team’s business operations.
White and Maki will report directly to Mrs Ford.
“Earlier today, we informed Tom Lewand and Martin Mayhew that they have been relieved of their responsibilities with the team. We thank them both for their many years of service to the team and to our family,” said Ford. “We are very disappointed with the results of the season so far and believe a change in leadership was necessary. I also want to make it clear that we have no intention of giving up on this season. We expect our team to compete, improve and win.”
The 2015 season marks White’s 19th season with the Lions and he was promoted to Vice President of Pro Personnel in 2009. As Vice President of Pro Personnel, White heads a team of personnel scouts that are responsible for evaluating all of the players in the National Football League, including the current Lions roster, and is also in charge of tryouts and visits for potential additional signings.
He is involved in all player personnel matters and reports directly to trainers, the media department, equipment managers and finance department regarding personnel transactions. In addition to running all free agent meetings, White is an integral part of the annual draft process.
As the Lions Senior Vice President, Administration and Chief Financial Officer, Maki oversaw the finance group, human resources and facility operations at the Lions Headquarters and Training Facility in Allen Park. She also assisted in the oversight and management of key business partners, while maintaining her role as an officer for Detroit Lions Charities.
“I have informed Coach Caldwell of our decisions. Also, no changes have been made to our coaching staff,” Ford elaborated. ““As of today, we are beginning a national search for the best leadership to manage our team going forward. I want to assure our fans that we intend to identify and hire the very best leadership in order to produce a consistently-winning football team. Our fans deserve a winning football team and we will do everything possible to make it a reality.”