Mark Tatum, the NBA's vice president of global marketing partnerships, has been named the league's next deputy commission, taking over Adam Silver's old office, the league announced.
The NBA Board of Governors has unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Tatum to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer, the NBA announced today. A 15-year veteran of the league office, Tatum will assume his new role on February 1, 2014, when current NBA Deputy Commissioner and COO Adam Silver becomes NBA Commissioner.
Tatus was considered "the strong leader" for the position on Saturday, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski:
Several league officials describe Tatum as bright, capable and engaging, an executive who has spent most of the past 15 years as a revenue creator for the NBA. Tatum has overseen the league's marketing partnerships with major corporate brands, and managed sales relationships with the league's TV and media partners.
"He's a good and smart guy," said an executive who has worked closely with Tatum. "He'll need to grow into the position. I'd imagine most front-office people aren't familiar with him."
Tatum, who worked for Major League Baseball before starting his job with the NBA in 1999, would become one of the highest-ranking minority executives in professional sports. Silver has apparently targeted him as his replacement, though there is no word on his timeline for hiring a new deputy commissioner.
Stern has recently been telling NBA owners that he will be out of sight for a while and they should call Silver if they have any issues, according to USA Today's Jeff Zillgitt.