Mavericks introduce Marshall as new CEO
The Dallas Mavericks introduced Cynthia Marshall, former chief diversity officer and vice president of human resources at AT&T, as the team's new CEO on Monday.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban recruited Marshall in the wake of last week's investigative story by Sports Illustrated that revealed a series of harassment allegations against former team president and CEO Terdema Ussery and two domestic violence incidents involving former team reporter Earl K. Sneed.
Marshall, who said she was "disgusted" by SI's story, emphasized three main focuses to address the franchise's issues: an independent investigation, cultural transformation and operational effectiveness.
"I really want to see us as a model of how to respond to this," Marshall said. "This is going on all around the country. I want us to be a model."
An independent investigation began last week and is being conducted by Evan Krutoy -- a former prosecutor in the Manhattan district attorney's office -- and former New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram. All team employees and any willing former employees are expected to be interviewed.
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"The purpose of the interviews is to make sure that all issues and allegations are surfaced and addressed," Marshall said. "We need everything to come out. Allegations will be thoroughly investigated, and any required disciplinary action will be administered swiftly, very swiftly.
."..It's a workplace where there is zero tolerance. Let me repeat that -- I just covered this with the team this afternoon -- a place where there is zero tolerance for sexual harassment, domestic violence or any type of inappropriate behavior."
Sneed was fired shortly before SI's story was published last week, after details emerged about his involvement in the domestic incidents, and human resources director Buddy Pittman was suspended pending the conclusion of the independent investigation.
Ussery left the franchise in 2015, and Marshall is the first CEO the team has hired since.
Cuban reached out to Marshall based on the recommendation of AT&T executives. Both Marshall and Cuban indicated she will have full autonomy, as she focuses on "fostering an inclusive and supportive culture in the organization" moving forward.
"I am determined, Mark is determined, that the Dallas Mavericks will be the standard," she said. "We're laying out a vision that says by 2019, the Dallas Mavericks will be the standard. We're leading the way in inclusion and diversity."
--Field Level Media