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Maryann Turcke stepping down as NFL chief operating officer

Maryann Turcke, the National Football League’s highest-ranking female executive, is stepping down from her role as the league’s chief operating officer.

Turke, who was promoted to the position in 2018 having been president of digital media and the NFL Network, is taking an advisory role with the league.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell wrote in an internal memo: “In her new role as executive advisor to the Commissioner, Maryann will initially focus on the workplace and operations of the future — thinking about the lessons we have learned over the past several months and how our workplace and business operations can change to meet the challenges ahead. I am delighted to know that we will have the benefit of Maryann’s experience and strategic thinking as we start the NFL’s second century.”

Turcke will not be replaced in the role of COO, according to the memo. Instead, chief marketing officer Tim Ellis and executive vice president Peter O’Reilly will assume greater responsibility and report directly to Goodell.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, former Bell Media president Turcke said she felt it was the right time for her personally and professionally to transition to a part-time role. Turcke, who is Canadian, also hinted that the difficulty in crossing the United States-Canada border in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic played a role in the decision as well.

Turcke is leaving the NFL at a crucial time in which the league is looking to pull of a successful season amid the coronavirus crisis and renegotiate its highly-lucrative domestic television deals, the league’s most valuable assets, which are up for renewal in 2022.

According to CNBC, the NFL is potentially in position to double its annual revenue from its media rights from about $7.5bn to $15bn.