Suns CEO Jason Rowley is fielding questions from employees about the future of the company’s post-Robert Sarver era and other issues, sources say.


r710828 600x400 3 2 Suns CEO Jason Rowley is fielding questions from employees about the future of the company's post-Robert Sarver era and other issues, sources say.

During an all-staff call Wednesday afternoon hours after majority owner Robert Sarver announced he was selling the Phoenix Suns, team president and CEO Jason Rowley fielded questions from team employees about the future of the organization; Whether certain leaders of the right who have been found guilty of workplace abuses over the years will be punished; And when those allegations first surfaced, team sources told ESPN about whether the team would admit to certain allegations after publicly siding with the server.

Sam Garvin, a minority owner who was part of the ownership group that led to Server’s purchase of the team in 2004, will be the team’s interim governor once the sale process begins, Rowley noted, giving him control over all management decisions for the organization. The sources said. According to the terms of the NBA’s latest one-year suspension, Server will have no contact or association with anyone in the organization and will not attend games, visit the team’s practice facility or its workplace, Rowley said.

Server was suspended for a year and fined $10 million last week after an NBA investigation found he used the N-word at least five times while “reciting other people’s statements.”

The server engaged in “instances of inequitable behavior toward female employees,” including “sexist comments” and inappropriate comments about the employees’ appearance.

Rowley told employees it was important to “recognize some wrongdoing” in the past and apologized to current or former employees who had an “unpleasant experience” here.

“Leadership starts at the top,” he said.

Server’s impending absence gave the team “clarity” and questions about Server’s role moving forward — the “elephant in the room” — were behind the team, Rowley said.

But Rowley also answered pointed questions from employees earlier submitted by the group’s HR department. The first question centers on whether leaders of organizations who hold certain employees guilty of contributing to years of workplace misconduct can be punished.

Rowley, who has been with the Suns since 2007-08, said the NBA’s investigation report, without specifying specifics, said the items exist and will reach “appropriate action” where appropriate.

Rowley addressed the question of what steps the organization is taking to ensure that there are more women, people of color and women of color in specific leadership positions. Rowley cited recent efforts by the organization and said the hiring of a “diversity, equity and inclusion leader” will help further.

Rowley also addressed a question allegedly submitted by several employees about why the organization didn’t specifically address the allegations after quickly standing by the server when the allegations were first mentioned.

Rowley referred to the committee’s soon-to-be-released report, which was shared with staff before it was released to the public. Addressing them today, Executive Committee member Dham said that past incidents were “not in line with our values” and that they should take steps to rectify the same.

In November 2021, the NBA commissioned its investigation in the wake of an ESPN story detailing allegations of racism and misogyny during Server’s 17 years as an owner.

In that story, several current and former employees told ESPN about the behavior of other members of the Suns’ leadership team they felt contributed to a toxic and sometimes hostile work environment. While no one said the server was involved in those incidents, many felt the server’s own behavior contributed to a culture that affected how some other managers in the company treated their employees.

On Wednesday, several current and former employees called for some leaders to be held accountable.

An employee who took part in the inquiry said: “I’m relieved, I’m happy, I’m empowered and I’m motivated to make sure that all the men in that organization who have perpetuated this culture continue to be there. It’s entrenched.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here