phoenix suns

The Phoenix Suns today announced that prominent local business leader Brad Casper has been named the team’s president to lead business and non-basketball operations, effective immediately. A 25-year veteran of consumer businesses, Casper most recently served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc., a $1.7 billion North American business based in Scottsdale, Ariz., which included the former Dial Corporation.

Lon Babby will continue in his role as President of Basketball Operations. Jason Rowley, who has been the Suns’ General Counsel for nearly four years and served as the interim head of business operations, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer and will report to Casper.

“We are proud to have been able to attract someone of Brad’s caliber to lead our business operations,” said Suns Managing Partner Robert Sarver. “His expertise in organizational development, marketing and branding, coupled with his passion for the Suns, will be an enormous asset for our organization, our marketing partners, and our fans. His dedicated involvement in the Arizona community exemplifies and extends our organization’s commitment to the city and state.”

Sarver added, “Rowley’s work warranted his promotion to Chief Operating Officer. He will provide important continuity and leadership.”

Casper served as President and CEO of The Dial Corporation and led its integration into German-based Henkel Group as Henkel Consumer Goods, Inc., after the 2004 purchase. During his tenure from 2005-2010, Casper oversaw construction of the company’s headquarters and research lab in Scottsdale, engineered the acquisition of Right Guard deodorants, and led the development of successful new products like Dial body scrubs, Renuzit air fresheners, and Purex Complete 3-in-1 Laundry Sheets.

An Ohio native, Casper is a 1982 graduate of Virginia Tech University with a bachelor’s degree in finance whose entrance into the business world came as a financial analyst with General Electric. Then, in what he considers the big break of his career, Casper was hired as a brand manager with Procter & Gamble at the age of 28. The position took him and his wife to Kobe, Japan, though the couple never had previously owned passports. The youngest brand manager in the firm’s history, Casper’s performance earned him a transfer to Hong Kong and then mainland China where he oversaw the launch of numerous products in the Asian market. He rose to the position of Vice President and General Manager of Procter & Gamble before being named the President of Church & Dwight, the manufacturer of Arm & Hammer products. He subsequently joined Dial.

Named by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the state’s “Most Admired CEOs” in both 2008 and 2009, Casper’s extensive involvement in civic and business organizations includes the Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC), Greater Phoenix Leadership (GPL), the Global Institute of Sustainability (GIOS) at Arizona State University, and the Scottsdale Unified School District Foundation. He is also a Fellow at the Thunderbird Graduate School of Management and serves on the board of directors of Grand Canyon Education Inc., which operates Grand Canyon University.

Casper and wife Kay reside in Paradise Valley and have been married for 28 years. The couple began dating in high school but first met as 10-year-olds at a cotton candy stand. They have three children: 19-year-old Colton, a student at Arizona State, 15-year-old Carly and 14-year-old Brody.

Suns Vice Chairman Sam Garvin said, “During Brad’s career he has been instrumental in creating a culture of innovation and growth, launching and developing numerous multi-billion dollar brands. He has a deep understanding of sports marketing through his previous experiences sponsoring Team USA Hockey, Major League Baseball, and the NBA, as well as being a marketing partner with the Suns after his arrival in the Valley. We are excited to have Brad leading our business.”

Rowley assumes the role of Chief Operating Officer after four seasons as the club’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel, responsible for all legal matters pertaining to the organization’s basketball, business and arena operations. Rowley received his bachelor’s degree and J.D. from the University of Arizona and prior to entering law school served in the U.S. Navy. He began his legal career in 2001 with the law firm of Snell & Wilmer in Phoenix and was corporate counsel for Van Tuyl Group, the nation’s largest privately held automotive retailer, before joining the Suns.