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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tom Wilson resigns as Palace CEO

Tom Wilson resigned Wednesday as president and chief executive officer of Palace Sports & Entertainment, Inc. and the Detroit Pistons.

Chief operating officer of the Palace and Pistons Alan Ostfield will immediately assume Wilson’s duties.

“I have had the honor to be a part of the Pistons family for the last 32 years, 31 of them working along side Bill Davidson,” Wilson said in a statement. “He was a dear friend and partner. I believe that, with Mr. Davidson’s unfortunate passing, however, the time is now right for me and my family to explore many exciting opportunities that have come my way recently. With Alan, I leave the Pistons and Palace in very good hands.

“Mr. Davidson and I built an organization of talented people and planned for an orderly leadership transition. Alan Ostfield, has been involved in every aspect of our business and helped to make every important decision we’ve made over the last 10 years. Alan has outstanding experience in all areas of sports franchise management and operations, including strategic planning. Now, Alan is ready to help guide the Pistons’ and Palace’s future.”

Wilson along with the late Mr. Davidson took The Palace of Auburn Hills from simply a vision to an venue that earned Arena of the Year honor nine times.

During Wilson’s tenure DTE Energy Music Theatre was the nation’s top-attended outdoor venue for 19 consecutive years and the Pistons were heralded as one of the best marketed and most highly valued teams in the NBA.

Since Mr. Davidson’s passing last March, The Palace has gone through an uncertain time.

Mr. Davidson’s widow Karen Davidson recently began the process for putting the Pistons and possibly the entire Palace Sports and Entertainment company up for sale, although it has not officially went up for sale yet.

The Detroit Pistons themselves are in a transition year and will likely miss the playoffs for the first time in nine seasons.

“I would like to wish all the best to Tom Wilson,” Karen Davidson said in a statement. “He was close to Bill personally and professionally and was instrumental to this organization’s growth, reputation and success.”

“Our organization is like an extended family, and Tom has been a valued member of that family for years,” said Ethan Davidson, Bill Davidson’s son. “While change always brings challenges, we are very confident in the future success of the Palace and Pistons.”

Ostfield will assume Wilson’s role immediatley. Ostfield joined the Pistons and The Palace in 2000 as senior vice president for legal affairs and assumed his current title as chief operating officer of Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Detroit Pistons and as assistant general manager of the Detroit Pistons in 2002.

“I have the deepest respect for Tom Wilson and the culture of excellence he and Mr. Davidson developed here,” Ostfield said. “Working with Tom has been an extraordinary professional and personal experience, and I am confident the management team we have in place can build on his achievements and momentum. I appreciate Mr. Davidson’s confidence in me as well as ownership’s trust and support as I assume these new responsibilities.”


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