Larry Miller has resigned as president of the Portland Trail Blazers.
The team announced Miller’s surprising departure Saturday. The team says he is leaving to take a position with another Portland-area business.
Miller was president of the Blazers the past five years. He helped oversee the team’s hiring of Neil Olshey as general manager early last month.
During Miller’s tenure, the Blazers returned to the postseason for the first time in six seasons, making three straight trips to the playoffs from 2009-2011. Portland was 28-38 last season and missed the playoffs.
Additionally, the Blazers have led the Western Conference in average home attendance for the last four seasons.
”We have an excellent general manager in place in Neil Olshey, so I feel the team is on solid ground and headed in the right direction,” Miller said in a statement released by the team. ”Off the court, business is great. The Rose Garden is packed every night and the passion of Trail Blazers fans has never been better.”
On Twitter, Blazers owner Paul Allen said it was ”sad to see Larry Miller leave” for another job and that a search for his replacement is under way.
Miller came to the Blazers from Nike’s Jordan Brand, and The Oregonian reported Saturday morning that he is leaving the Blazers to return to the company.
Miller had two years left on his contract with the Blazers.
The Blazers said Olshey will handle basketball operations in Miller’s absence and Sarah Mensah, the team’s chief operating officer, will be in charge of business operations.