70ºF

Orlando City President Phil Rawlins steps down

CEO Alex Leitao will take over day-to-day operations

ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando City Soccer's Phil Rawlins announced Tuesday that he will leave his role as president and hand off day-to-day operations to the club CEO.

Effective immediately, Rawlins will assume a new position, still with Orlando City, as club-life president.

CEO Alex Leitão, with Orlando City since 2012, will take over operations and report directly to the board, according to the news release.

In his new role, Rawlins will act as a team ambassador, remaining on the team and league boards.

In a video posted by the team, Rawlins called the change a “personal decision,” but says he is not going anywhere.

“The club right now is in a great position,” Rawlins said. "If you think about when we arrived in this community six years ago."

Rawlins listed the accomplishments the organization has accomplished under his founding leadership.

"We promised to bring major league soccer, we've done that. We've also brought major league professional women's soccer to the community," he said.

Sign up for ClickOrlando breaking news alerts and email newsletters

In a few months, the team will play in the new stadium, closing out an important chapter, Rawlins said.

Leitão said in the video that he is happy and excited to have the opportunity and thanked Rawlins for his leadership.

Leitão also addresses the fans, saying the changes are not because of one particular reason or person.

"It's about everybody and the staff we have with us here," Leitão said. The team and staff are "Working hard every day, day after day, and this is not going to change."

The club does not plan to fill the position of president, according to the news release.

Orlando City is scheduled to play New York City FC on March 5 in the new soccer stadium.

Watch the full message from Rawlins and Leitão above.


About the Author: