Hornets Sports & Entertainment President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield Departing Organization

December 6, 2023 – Hornets Sports & Entertainment today announced that President & Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield is stepping down from his position and departing the organization after more than 17 years leading the team’s business operations.

“We thank Fred for all he has done for our organization and for the role he has played in helping get our ownership group up to speed over the last several months,” said HSE Co-Chairmen Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin. “His experience, knowledge and relationships in this industry, league and community have been invaluable to our franchise. We appreciate his hard work and dedication and wish him all the best.”

Whitfield joined what was then Bobcats Sports & Entertainment in July 2006, serving as President & Chief Operating Officer for 12 years before assuming the title of President & Vice Chairman in 2018. During his tenure, he oversaw significant growth throughout the organization, including the name change from Charlotte Bobcats to Charlotte Hornets in 2014, the rebranding of Spectrum Center in 2016 after naming rights partner Time Warner Cable’s merger with Charter Communications and the launch of both the Greensboro Swarm in the NBA G League in 2016 and Hornets Venom GT in the NBA 2K League in 2020.

Under Whitfield’s leadership, the organization secured renovations and a lease extension for Spectrum Center, reached long-term agreements with Ticketmaster to serve as the arena’s ticketing provider and Live Nation to book entertainment and simultaneously signed an arena naming rights deal with Time Warner Cable and a television broadcast rights deal with FOX Sports. In addition, Spectrum Center hosted the 2012 Democratic National Convention, 2019 NBA All-Star Weekend and 2019 ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament, as well as the Jumpman Invitational that debuted in December 2022 and will return December 19-20 and multiple rounds of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Fred Whitfield Statement

The following statement was released by Fred Whitfield following the announcement that he is stepping down as President & Vice Chairman of Hornets Sports & Entertainment:

“For the past 17 and a half years I have had the privilege of representing the Charlotte Hornets as president and vice chairman, and ultimately minority owner. But the time has come for me to step away and focus on my health and my family.

“Over the last 18 months I have successfully battled a serious case of throat cancer. I’ve also been focused on supporting my mother, who has her own health issues. As these priorities have occupied more of my time and energy, I realized that now is the right time to leave my role with the Hornets, who are on a tremendous path to success with the energy and ideas brought by our new owners, Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin. I’m grateful to them for their support during this challenging time, and I also want to thank the prior ownership groups under the leadership of Bob Johnson and Michael Jordan for giving me such a tremendous opportunity.

“I’d also like to thank NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and his predecessor, the late David Stern, for their unwavering support of our organization and me personally. During my tenure with the Hornets, we always focused on meeting the needs of all the communities we serve – the NBA, the players, coaches and staff, the fans and the rest of the Charlotte region. I know that focus will continue, and I look forward to being involved in a variety of efforts to improve the Charlotte community while cheering on the Hornets from the stands.”