The NFL has no plans to ask Jimmy Haslam to step away from the Browns while the FBI and IRS investigate Pilot Flying J, the truck stop company his family founded in 1958.
And Haslam has no plans to step aside from either the team or his role as CEO of Pilot Flying J. That was the message he sent while addressing the media on Friday. Haslam also sent out a statement saying that the investigation dealt with a “a very narrow band” of the company that doesn’t include 99 percent of the workforce. He pledged to cooperate with authorities in their investigation, but was emphatic that he would be remaining in his role.
“Somebody asked me today if I was going to step down as [CEO of Pilot Flying J],” Haslam said, via Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I thought to myself, ‘Why would I do that?’ Candidly, I haven’t done anything wrong, No. 1. And No. 2, if there’s ever a time the company needs our leadership, it’s right now. So our plans are to remain CEO for a long time, candidly.”
There wasn’t any football discussion while Haslam addressed the issues with his family’s company, but a reporter did manage to squeeze one in as Haslam made his way out of the room. The owner was asked if the Browns would make it to the Super Bowl while he owned the team and Haslam replied “eventually, yes.”
That may contradict Haslam’s assertion that it would be “business as usual” for the Browns, but it probably sounds good to fans in Cleveland all the same.