The Phoenix Suns have promoted president Rick Welts to chief executive officer, a title previously held by managing partner Robert Sarver.
Welts, a marketing specialist with long NBA ties, came to the Suns in July 2002 as president and chief operating officer. He joined the NBA in 1982, and by the time he left in 1999, he was serving as the league's executive vice president, chief marketing officer and president of NBA Properties.
Welts began his basketball career as a Seattle SuperSonics ballboy in 1969 and eventually became the club's public relations director.
"During Rick's seven years with the Suns he has distinguished himself as one of professional sports' best operators," Sarver said in a statement. "Our creativity and success in areas such as marketing partnerships, technology, branding, customer service and this year's NBA All-Star events have all been a result of Rick's leadership."