Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is stepping aside from day-to-day control of the team immediately to focus on the sale, Judy Battista of NFL Media first reported.
The story has developed quickly since Friday when the Panthers announced they were investigating allegations of workplace misconduct made against Richardson. The NFL announced Sunday morning it was taking over the investigation, and by Sunday night, Richardson released a statement that he intends to sell the team he brought to his home state as soon as the season ends.
The NFL said Monday the investigation will continue despite Richardson’s announcement.
The Panthers announced long-time employee Tina Becker will become Chief Operating Officer with full control of the management of the organization. Becker’s previous title was executive director, owner’s office.
Her promotion makes her one of the highest-ranking female executives of any NFL team.
“These have been some of the most difficult days of my 19 years with the Panthers, but I am lifted up by the strong resolve and the commitment our employees have shown to this organization,” Becker said, via a team press release. “Our team on the field is performing at a very high level, and I believe is bound for the Super Bowl. My immediate focus will be to ensure the corporate side of the organization performs at the same high level, while addressing the real concerns that have been raised in recent days.”
Becker has worked her way up the organization and served in key roles along the way, including directing the organization’s business and administrative priorities, as well as dealing with league affairs.
She has worked closely over the years with all facets of the organization, including business operations, ticketing and sponsorship, stadium operations, entertainment and fan engagement. Before joining the owner’s office, Becker served as the team’s director of entertainment from 2012-14.