After 36 years working for AT&T in various roles, and a brief retirement during which she managed her own consulting practice, Cynthia Marshall has been tapped by Dallas Maverick’s owner Mark Cuban as the organization’s interim CEO. Marshall, whose resume includes tenure as AT&T’s Chief Diversity Officer and Senior Vice President of Human Resources, President of AT&T North Carolina, and Senior Vice President of Regulatory & Constituent Affairs for AT&T California, will no doubt be called upon to flex her extensive leadership chops in this new position.
Though her background does not include sports management, Marshall is a high-impact leader who has twice been recognized as one of the 50 most powerful African American women in business in the country.
Black Enterprise reports that Marshall met with the team for the first time this morning, during which time she established her vision for the next month of operations, which “includes completing the internal investigation already launched by Mavericks owner Mark Cuban; personally meeting with each of the organization’s 141 employees; and formalizing a detailed process for transforming the organization’s dysfunctional culture and refining its operational effectiveness, with an emphasis on all systems and policies related to reporting and addressing employee complaints.”
During a press conference following her initial meetings today, Marshall explained that the “goal is for the Dallas Mavericks organization to be a great place to work for everyone,” according to ESPN. “Not for a few people, but for everyone. A place of character and integrity where individuals are held accountable for their actions.”
Noting that she, Cuban, and the franchise as a whole are determined to become the ‘gold standard’ in the industry, Marshall continued, “We’re laying out a vision that says by 2019, the Dallas Mavericks will be the standard. We’re leading the way in inclusion and diversity.”
The Mavericks came under fire last week when an expose by Sports Illustrated detailed a toxic culture rife with issues of sexual harassment and domestic abuse. Marshall will be the first CEO the franchise has had since 2015.
“We are committed to running a business of excellence,” said Marshall, in an exclusive phone interview with Black Enterprise. “Clearly we have work to do, and I walk in knowing that there’s a lot that I don’t know. But I do know how to lead, and how to effect necessary change in an organization.”