(Reuters) – The Carolina Panthers have appointed Tina Becker as Chief Operating Officer (COO) with full control of the daily management of the National Football League (NFL) franchise, the team announced on Monday.
The Panthers said Becker, who started as a cheerleader, will be one of the highest-ranking female executives at an NFL team.
The news comes the day after owner Jerry Richardson said he would sell the team at the end of the season, amid allegations of workplace misconduct by the owner that are under investigation by the NFL.
Becker, who has been with the franchise since 1999 in a variety of positions, fills a post that had been vacant since team president Danny Morrison resigned earlier this year.
She acknowledged the turbulent times at the Panthers.
“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,” she said in a statement on the team’s website.
“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.”
The Panthers are 10-4 with two games left in the regular season and are likely headed to the playoffs.
(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)