The 49ers are offering new clarity to an internal restructuring that took place earlier this month.
“Last week, the 49ers underwent an organizational restructuring to enable success for the future. This restructuring did not impact the level of resources supporting the Stadium Manager, and, in turn, Non-NFL Events and the operation of Levi’s Stadium,” said a spokesperson for the San Francisco 49ers. “In fact, the support will be better than ever with Emily Eskin in the role of leading all Non-NFL Events, having just turned the biggest year of Non-NFL Event revenue; and Francine Hughes, a nationally respected leader, in the role of guiding the stadium operations department.”
The 49ers say Francine Hughes will take over as Executive Vice President and General Manager of Levi’s Stadium.
According to the website The Org, Hughes most recently worked as Chief of Staff to the Chairman of McCourt Global, a private family company that works in many different industries including real estate, sports, technology, media and finance.
Prior to that, she served as vice president of stadium operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers where she managed the stadium and the fan experience.
The issue of organizational restructuring was brought up at the most recent Santa Clara City Council meeting. Mayor Lisa Gillmor pushed back against the proposed stadium operating budget presented to the Council, saying it did not reflect the restructuring.
“A lot of things I have relate around this restructuring, whatever this is going to be because I don’t want to submit a budget to the trustees and the banks knowing that this isn’t the true budget,” said Gillmor at the meeting.
The mayor said she was concerned about the layoffs, which included Jim Mercurio, the executive vice president and general manager of the stadium.
The Forty-Niners Management Company (ManCo) spokesperson present at the City Council meeting offered to talk offline about the specifics of the restructuring but said he was not in a position to speak to individual employment matters. He did not mention the hiring of Hughes at that time.
Gillmor argued that restructuring usually means cost savings, something that was not reflected in the budget, which included additional jobs. The ManCo spokesperson said this restructuring is separate from the additional jobs in the presented stadium budget.
“The additional heads added to the shared stadium expenses and the reorganization that actually took place, they’re mutually exclusive. We think that there’s going to be some savings in shared stadium expenses and we’ll assess and forecast those appropriately moving forward,” said the ManCo spokesperson. “Regarding the additional heads in shared stadium expenses, we think that by bringing parking in house, we would expect to have a much better product that enables us to train and develop staff in the Levi’s Stadium way, if you will.”
City staff says the budget was submitted to them before the restructuring occurred and was therefore not reflected in the budget presented to the Council.