Bob Vander Weide retires as Orlando Magic CEO

Bob Vander Weide, whose leadership watch included seven 50-win seasons, five division championships, two Eastern Conference titles and 13 playoff berths, announced his retirement as Chief Executive Officer/Vice Chair of the Orlando Magic today.

Vander Weide will continue to serve the Magic in a consulting role. Vander Weide has served on the NBA’s Labor Relations Committee, as well as the Planning Committee, which is developing the league’s new revenue sharing plans.

Rich DeVos will serve as the Senior Chairman of the Orlando Magic, while Dan DeVos will take on the responsibilities of Chairman.

Alex Martins has been promoted to Chief Executive Officer and will continue is his role of running the local operations and day-to-day business of the organization, while Otis Smith will continue as President of Basketball Operations/General Manager, reporting to Martins.

Dan DeVos will serve as the Magic’s lead representative on the NBA’s Board of Governors, while Dick DeVos and Martins will serve as Orlando’s Alternate Governor to the NBA’s board and member of the NBA’s Team President Advisory Council.

“It’s been an incredibly exciting and fulfilling 20 years,” said Vander Weide, who also oversaw the creation of the Orlando Magic Youth Foundation, which has distributed more than $16 million to the local community. “Now, it’s time to focus my energy and efforts in Grand Rapids (Mich.), as well as some charitable and business endeavors. I am certainly looking forward to this next chapter and have great confidence in Dan, Alex and Otis and the leadership of this organization going forward.”

“We truly thank Bob for his dedication, leadership and strategic vision, “  said Dan DeVos. “He has created a culture of winning, and admirably led the family’s commitment to community, while also working diligently to ensure that our customers and stakeholders have a first-class experience. Like Bob, we look forward to our continued journey and achieving our ultimate objective of winning an NBA Championship, while putting a product on the floor that all of Central Florida can be proud of. The DeVos’ commitment to team ownership and the Central Florida community is truly multi-generational.”

Vander Weide, 53, and a native of Grand Rapids, Mich., began his career with the Magic in 1992 as Vice President of Basketball Operations and was named President in 1994, before shifting to his current role of CEO/Vice Chair. He currently resides in Grand Rapids with his wife, Cheri, and their 5 children.

Vander Weide, along with Alex Martins, played a key role in securing and developing the state-of-the-art Amway Center. Vander Weide developed a Magic culture which emphasizes winning, commitment to community and a first-class customer experience.

During its most recent years, the Magic have recorded four straight 50-win seasons, the longest stretch in franchise history, while having more wins and more playoff wins than any team in the NBA with the exception of the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers over the last four seasons.

In addition, Magic community relations programming under their direction impacts an estimated 100,000 kids each year, while the front office staff commits more than 6,000 volunteer hours in the community.

From a business perspective, the Magic have recorded 120 straight sellouts, while doubling its season ticket base to a franchise record 14,000 over the last five years. In addition, under their direction they have maintained multiple affordable ticket options, including 2,500 seats priced $20 or less. In its eighth annual Ultimate Sport Rankings, ESPN ranked the Magic first among all NBA teams and second among all NBA, NFL, MLB and NHL franchises in “best sports experiences.” The standings were tabulated on a variety of categories, including: fan relations, affordability, ownership commitment, on-the-court performance and stadium experience. In its ninth annual rankings last year, the Amway Center was ranked No. 1 in the NBA.

Vander Weide was also instrumental in bringing professional hockey and professional women’s basketball to Orlando. From 1995-2001, the Orlando Solar Bears of the International Hockey League captured one divisional title, three Eastern Conference crowns and the IHL’s Turner Cup Championship in 2000-01. In April of 1998, Orlando was granted a WNBA franchise. The Miracle finished its inaugural season in 1999.

Besides handling his Orlando Magic duties, Vander Weide also maintains several business responsibilities in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Mich. Vander Weide has also stayed involved in a variety of Orlando civic and community organizations. He was named the 1997 “Orlandoan of the Year” by Orlando Magazine and chaired the 2000 Heart of Florida’s United Way Campaign.

As Chairman, Dan DeVos responsibilities include long-term strategic planning for the organization and new business initiatives.

DeVos is chairman, president and CEO of DP Fox Ventures, LLC, a diversified business development and management company with interests in real estate, transportation and sports and entertainment in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  DP Fox employs more than 500 professionals through companies including Fox Insurance Agency, Fox Powersports and Fox Motor Group, a retail automotive group representing 40 manufacturers at 20 locations.

DeVos also serves as co-owner, president and CEO, governor of the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, the top affiliate for the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. He led the way for the return of professional hockey to West Michigan in 1996. Since then, the Griffins organization has strived to meet a standard of excellence in everything it does, while providing a fan experience focused on family fun and entertainment. That excellence begins on the ice, where the team has won five division titles in either the AHL or the International Hockey League over the last 12 seasons.

DeVos is a member of the AHL’s executive committee and a member of the West Michigan Sports Commission’s board of directors. He was named the IHL’s Executive of Year in 1997 and served as the league’s chairman of the board during its final two seasons.

A member of the board of directors of Alticor Inc., the parent company of Amway Corporation, DeVos also serves as president/CEO of Powell Pointe Resort, the developer of Cape Eleuthera, and of Cape Eleuthera Properties, the manager of the Princess Cays facility, on the island of Eleuthera, The Bahamas. Additionally, serves as a partner for the Georgian Automotive Group, based in Barrie, Ontario, as well as a partner for CWD Real Estate Investments.

In honor of the impact that he, his brothers and their father, Rich, have made on the sports landscape both locally and nationally, the DeVos family was inducted into the Grand Rapids Sports Hall of Fame in the team category in 2011.

DeVos is involved in a variety of local business and civic organizations, including serving as the board of trustees president for Hope Network, co-chair of the Children’s Miracle Network, and as a member of the Grand Valley University Foundation. He also serves as vice chair on the board of trustees for Northwood University,

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