Orlando City announced Tuesday some changes in the organization. CEO Alex Leitao will now assume day-to-day operational responsibilities, while club founder Phil Rawlins will transition to a new position of Life-President.
“When Phil told me his desire to leave the day-to-day operations, I was saddened by his decision. He has made an enormous contribution to both this Club and the Orlando community," said majority owner Flavio Augusto da Silva. "I wish Phil great success with whatever he decides to do next. I have all trust in Alex and his team to continue the story of success that Phil built."
In practical terms, this means that Rawlins will remain with Orlando City, and continue to be an Orlando City board member, representing the club on all league boards (MLS, NWSL, USL). Da Silva will not replace the president position.
Meanwhile, Leitao will report to the board directly with his expanded role. He's been a member of the club's board since 2012, and became CEO in early 2016.
In a video released by the club, Rawlins assured fans that he wouldn't be walking away from the club he helped build from scratch: “Don't worry,” he said. “I'm not going away. I'm not going anywhere. I'll be here.”
A Message from Phil Rawlins and Alex Leitão. pic.twitter.com/9LezPo0MpC— Orlando City SC (@OrlandoCitySC) December 27, 2016