The call to Paul

So, how does one tell his boss – who just happens to be the 37th richest man in the world – that he is leaving?

That was the dilemma facing Tod Leiweke, when the Vulcan Sports and Seahawks CEO had to inform Paul Allen that he was taking a job with the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL.

Allen’s reaction?

“He said, ‘Are you sure?’ ” Leiweke said Monday, when his departure was announced. “And by the time I told him, I wanted to make sure I was sure. You know, I told him I was sure, but I’m not sure I was sure.

“It was still a really hard decision.”

Now comes another decision: Finding Leiweke’s replacement.

“Ultimately it will be his search and I’m going to work for him,” Leiweke said. “I’ve served him every day I’ve been here, so I will serve him on this search. I love this place and I don’t want to see it miss a beat.

“And I don’t think it has to. I think there are other wonderfully qualified people. I actually think there are people out there that might even be a better skill set than I to push this forward. Technology is a huge issue, and I know just enough to change my Blackberry battery.

“There’s lots of skill sets and I think Paul will have the pick of the litter in finding a successor here, and I’m going to be his greatest advocate because he’s been a phenomenal owner to work for.”

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