Charlotte Hornets hire new president of business operations to replace Fred Whitfield

The winds of change continue to blow throughout the Charlotte Hornets.

The Hornets announced Monday they’ve hired Shelly Cayette-Weston, who spent the past 12 years with the Cleveland Cavaliers, as their new president of business operations. Cayette-Weston is going to oversee the organization’s daily business operations, including the Greensboro Swarm, Hornets Venom GT, and their home arena, Spectrum Center. She’ll report to co-owners Rick Schnall and Gabe Plotkin, filling a void left by Fred Whitfield’s resignation in December.

Cayette-Weston will begin her role on July 1.

“We are preparing for a winning product on the court, no doubt, and Rick and Gabe are very clear on that vision,” Cayette-Weston said in an interview with The Observer. “But we are also going to make sure on the business side that we create a sustainable business in a sense that regardless of what is going on the court, you’ve got fans that have been around for over 30 years, you’ve got partners, and ticket holders and community. They’ve been in the market and they’ve been following the team for over 30 years, so you’ve got a great foundation.

“So, I think I can help. What I will bring is evolution and elevation to take it to the next level. We are going to take the strong foundation that we have and we are going to just be relentless about the innovation, evolution and continued growth to give Charlotte the franchise that it wants and deserves to have, no doubt.”

Cayette-Weston served in a variety of roles during her tenure with the Cavs. She began in their partnership marketing department in 2012 prior to being elevated to vice president of global partnerships and senior vice president of global partnerships.

She was Cleveland’s executive vice president and chief commercial officer for more than a decade, and the Cavaliers have been among the top performing revenue franchises in the NBA during the past 10 years. Her duties, among other things, involved securing marketing partners and developing a sound international business strategy.

Cayette-Weston also has experience in another area: on the court, having played at Tulane University.

“We are pleased to welcome Shelly to Hornets Sports & Entertainment,” Schnall and Plotkin said in a statement. “As we’ve gotten to know Shelly, we have been struck by her leadership skills, her experience and her ability to build relationships with key constituencies such as corporate partners, ticket holders and community members.

“She lives our values and believes in the vision we have for the future of HSE.”