The XFL hired a series of former NFL and XFL executives Monday in anticipation of its 2023 return to the field, including former Buffalo Bills CEO Russ Brandon as the league's new president.
Brandon held multiple positions with the Bills, including chief executive officer, during a 21-year tenure with the team that ended in 2018. He has since worked as an adviser to RedBird Capital Partners, which joined entrepreneur Dany Garcia and actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson to buy the league out of bankruptcy in 2020.
Also joining the league is former New York Giants personnel evaluator Marc Ross, who will serve as executive vice president of football operations and be responsible for all on-field operations. His deputy will be former Bills general manager Doug Whaley, who worked in a similar capacity for the XFL in 2020 under previous owner Vince McMahon.
In addition to Whaley, three other former XFL executives were rehired. They include Janet Duch, the former president of the XFL's New York Guardians who is now the chief marketing and content officer, and former chief marketing and commercial officer Jordan Schlachter, who is now chief business officer. Senior vice president, enterprise technology Scott Harniman and senior vice president, people operations Cindy Wagner returned in the same capacity.
New hires include chief financial officer Rob Gerbe, a former NBA executive, and senior vice president, broadcast operations Jay Rothman, a former vice president of production at ESPN.
In a statement, Garcia said: "These exceptional and talented executives encompass a deep skill set that aligns with our commitment to delivering an exceptional football universe experience, as well as our shared passion for bringing the XFL back stronger than before. Our team's experience across varying professional sports leagues and brands will enable us to deliver an experience for our fans, athletes and partners that represents today's evolution of 'best-in-class.' A tremendous amount of work has already been done with more exciting news to come as we prepare for 2023."
McMahon fired former commissioner Oliver Luck and laid off nearly all of the other previous executives when he shuttered the league in 2020. Former president and CEO Jeffrey Pollack remained with the league during the transition to new ownership, but the sides recently parted ways.