The plan, approved by the Board, elects Harlan as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer and Jones as President and Chief Operating Officer, effective at the May 2006 Board meeting, in the process making Jones the 10th President in club annals. Harlan, who turned 69 on Sept. 9, will continue to chair the Board of Directors and Executive Committee until May 2007.
At the Board's May 2007 meeting, Harlan would be elected Chairman Emeritus after having reached age 70, the Board's mandatory retirement age, and Jones would be elected President and Chief Executive Officer. In Harlan's Chairman Emeritus role, he would continue to serve the organization as a goodwill ambassador, representing the team at various community functions.
Jones will be nominated as a director by the team's Board of Directors for shareholder vote at the 2006 annual meeting.
"This is a sound plan that we've been working on for several years," said Harlan. "It further defines my role and assures the franchise will continue along its successful path. During the next two years, I will continue to oversee the organization while John takes the next step and broadens his role in preparing to become the team's next leader."
Jones currently is in his fifth year as the team's Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He originally joined the organization in February 1999, following a 10-year tenure at the NFL Management Council. He is responsible for supervision of the salary cap and contract management and also oversees the organization's administrative staff and business operations.
"Every successful organization plans for succession," said Jones. "This decision by Bob Harlan, the Executive Committee and the board of directors ensures that the stability, continuity and direction the team has developed over the past seven years while I've worked side-by-side with Bob will continue to carry the organization into a successful future."
Harlan has been a member of the Packers since 1971, when he joined the organization as assistant general manager. In 1989, he became the ninth president in team history. He was the catalyst in the revival of the Packers' on-field fortunes during the ‘90s, first set forth by the 1991 hiring of Ron Wolf to oversee the club's football operations which resulted in back-to-back appearances in Super Bowl's XXXI and XXXII, including Green Bay's first league championship in 29 years during the 1996 season. More recently, he played a central role in orchestrating the $295 million redevelopment of Lambeau Field. He was appropriately honored by being inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in July 2004.
Along with Harlan, Jones had conceived the idea of transforming Lambeau Field into a year-round destination, a project necessary to the team's economic survival in the NFL. His subsequent efforts in guiding the Packers' financial plan for the future has paid dividends in the recent 2005 fiscal year as the team again realized record profitability while retaining 10th place in league revenue rankings for the third year in a row. He also led the organization in developing a new, fully encompassing strategic plan, including the creation of a staff leadership and management skills development program. At the NFL level, Jones serves on the league's Stadium Committee and on the board of directors of NFL Business Ventures.