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Suns president and CEO Jason Rowley leaves team amid leadership changes; new owner approved by NBA

Embattled owner Robert Sarver was suspended in September for one year because of workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies.Matt York/Associated Press

PHOENIX — Phoenix Suns president and CEO Jason Rowley has decided to leave the team as the franchise moves forward with leadership changes, according to a person familiar with the details.

The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Rowley’s resignation was not shared outside of the organization.

The person said Rowley’s departure was “shared internally” within the Suns organization on Monday. ESPN said employees were notified in an internal e-mail from Suns interim governor Sam Garvin.

Rowley’s resignation comes in the midst of big changes in Phoenix. Mortgage executive Mat Ishbia was approved to be the team’s new majority owner by the NBA’s board of governors. He has the controlling stake of the Suns and WNBA’s Phoenix Mercury from embattled owner Robert Sarver.


Ishbia, 43, agreed Dec. 20 to the deal, one that put the total value of the Suns and Mercury at $4 billion.

The NBA suspended Sarver in September for one year, plus fined him $10 million, after an investigation found he had engaged in what the league called “workplace misconduct and organizational deficiencies.”

Sarver’s suspension came nearly a year after the NBA asked a law firm to investigate allegations that Sarver had a history of racist, misogynistic and hostile incidents over his nearly two-decade tenure overseeing the franchise.

Shortly afterward, Sarver announced he would be looking to sell the Suns and the Mercury.