Seattle in no hurry to replace Whitsitt

  • By Scott M. Johnson / Herald Writer
  • Friday, January 21, 2005 9:00pm
  • Sports

KIRKLAND – The Seattle Seahawks’ search for a new team president remains in the early stages.

CEO Tod Leiweke said Friday that the team is still compiling a list of candidates to replace Bob Whitsitt, who was fired last week, and that no timetable has been set.

“Certainly there are some milestones coming up, and we’re paying attention to them, but I don’t think this process is going to be governed by milestones,” Leiweke said. “This isn’t just a decision for the next two or three months. This is a decision that will impact the Seahawks and our fans for years to come, so we’ve got to get it right.”

The search is being conducted by Bert Kolde and Hoon Cho, members of the Seahawks’ board of directors. They have very little background in football but led searches for Leiweke’s CEO position 19 months ago as well as the general manager position for the Portland Trail Blazers. The current process has included communication with the NFL and other teams in regards to gather information about the necessary qualities for a candidate.

Leiweke would not talk about possible candidates, nor would he comment on whether the addition would affect general manager Bob Ferguson or head coach Mike Holmgren. He did say that Holmgren’s opinion will be taken into account in regards to the new president.

“At the end of the day,” Leiweke said, “the ultimate opinion will rest with the owner (Paul Allen). He has great passion for getting this right.”

Whitsitt was fired on Jan. 14, after eight years as Seahawks team president. That happened to be the same day that vice president of football operations Ted Thompson left to become general manager of the Green Bay Packers.

Leiweke said Friday that the team is focusing on filling the president position before addressing the opening left by Thompson’s departure.

The Seahawks also have a long list of impending free agents and a number of personnel decisions, which Ferguson and Holmgren are planning to discuss in the coming weeks.

During a time when the Seahawks’ front office has so many question marks, Leiweke is taking a glass-half-full approach.

“It’s exciting,” he said. “It’s a chance for renewal, it’s a chance to find the very best that’s out there, and that’s what Paul’s mandate was. We’re going to get this done.”

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