Lions name Rod Wood as new team president

The Lions took their first definitive step toward a rebuild on Thursday.
Jeff Hanisch/Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Lions owner Martha Ford announced the appointment of Rod Wood as the team’s new president on Thursday. Wood replaces Tom Lewand, who was fired earlier this month. Allison Maki held the position in the interim.

As the President and CEO of Ford Estates for the past eight years, Wood has close ties to the Ford family and the Lions. His first order of business is to begin the search for a new general manager, Ford made clear in a statement on the appointment (via the Lions’ official website):

I am most pleased to announce Rod Wood as our new Team President. Rod’s familiarity with our organization in his role as President and CEO of Ford Estates and his accomplishments in the business world not only make him an ideal choice as Team President, but will also help ensure a smooth and positive transition for our organization.

It was critical to me and my family to fill the President’s position as soon as possible, provided we identified the right person. I am confident Rod is the right person.

I also believe Rod’s appointment now gives us the ability to move more decisively with respect to our search for a general manager.

The Lions have also established an advisory board to expedite the search for a new GM, according to the team’s press release. The advisory board includes the team’s board of directors, Wood, Ford and her four children. The team will also continue to use the resources made available to them by the NFL, according to Lions senior writer Tim Twentyman.

Wood, 55, said the following about his new role with the organization in a prepared statement made available by

I am humbled and honored to accept this position. Mrs. Ford has made it clear that her goal, and the goal of the Ford Family, is to make the Detroit Lions a championship football team and organization. In my role as team President, I will do everything possible to provide our organization with all the means necessary to succeed on the football field and provide our fans and city with a championship organization both on and off the field.

With a new president in place to handle the business side of operations, the Lions can now turn their focus to an impending rebuild of their roster. The first step is to find the right GM to take the lead on this project.

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