Detroit Lions hire Ford family advisor Rod Wood as team president –

Posted: Friday, November 20, 2015

ALLEN PARK — That was fast.

The Detroit Lions announced Thursday afternoon they’ve hired Rod Wood as their new president, just two weeks after firing Tom Lewand from that position.

Wood, 55, will report directly to owner Martha Firestone Ford and handle the business side of the operation.

“It was critical to me and my family to fill the president’s position as soon as possible, provided we identified the right person,” Ford said. “I am confident Rod is the right person.

“I also believe Rod’s appointment now gives us the ability to move more decisively with respect to our search for a general manager.”

Detroit is still in the primitive stages of its search for a new general manager to replace Martin Mayhew. Sheldon White is currently handling those duties on an interim basis.

Ford said in her statement the club is forming a general manager search advisory board. Martha Firestone Ford will head that committee, along with her four children — Martha Ford Morse, Sheila Ford Hamp, William Clay Ford, Jr. and Elizabeth Ford Kontulis — and Wood.

Detroit is also expected to enlist the help of the NFL’s Career Development Advisory Panel.

“I am humbled and honored to accept this position. Mrs. Ford has made it clear that her goal, and the goal of the Ford family, is to make the Detroit Lions a championship football team and organization,” Wood said in a statement. “In my role as team president, I will do everything possible to provide our organization with all the means necessary to succeed on the football field and provide our fans and city with a championship organization both on and off the field.”

Wood’s previous job was as president and CEO of Ford Estates, which advises the family on its business and investments. From 1999 until that appointment in 2007, he was executive vice president of wealth management for the Wilmington Trust Company in Wilmington, Del.

Wood also has held an executive position with Comerica Bank.

“Rod’s familiarity with our organization in his role as president and CEO of Ford Estates and his accomplishments in the business world not only make him an ideal choice as team president, but will also help ensure a smooth and positive transition for our organization,” Ford said in the statement.

Wood is expected to address the media on Friday.

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