Mullin resigns as president of Hawks, Thrashers

By: associated press
By: associated press

ATLANTA (AP) -- Bernie Mullin has resigned as president of the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Thrashers, and a member of the ownership group said there is no plan to name a replacement.

Michael Gearon Jr., an Atlanta-based member of the ownership group, said Mullin's resignation today will set up a more efficient management of the teams.

Gearon said the "mutual decision" for Mullin and chief financial officer Bill Duffy to resign "has nothing to do with the teams" but was a result of the ownership group's active role in the operations of the teams.

Mullin had been president and chief executive officer of Atlanta Spirit, representing the ownership group for the NBA's Hawks, the NHL's Thrashers and Philips Arena, since 2004.

Executives who have reported directly to Mullin now instead will report to the owners, including Gearon, who will be the point man for the Hawks. Gearon already serves as the team's NBA governor, the member of the group who must sign off on all trades.

The move comes as the Thrashers are preparing to host the NHL All-Star game on Sunday.

Mullin says he is leaving "to pursue other opportunities." He said he is "proud to have helped put into place what I believe will be one of the most successful organizations in professional sports.

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