And you thought only young people drunk dial and usually toward their exes! Well CEO of the Orlando Magic, Bob Vander Weide, drunk dialed the team’s star player Dwight Howard at 1am a few days ago. The conversation involved Vander Weide stating to Dwight how badly they wanted him to stay in Orlando and play with the Magic, which is odd since he is not a free agent this year (but he will be after the 2011-2012 season ends). As fall out of this phone call, Vander Weide is stepping down as CEO of the Magic, though it should be noted that his contract was set to expire on December 31st, so he might have been planing his exit for a while. Though I doubt that the drunk dial was supposed to be the crux of his exit strategy.
Now a little background on Bob Vander Weide. He is married to Cheri DeVos, daughter of the Orlando Magic owner Rich DeVos, so he is firmly entrenched in the DeVos family business (more on that below, and this previous blog post). The Orlando Sentinel did a nice piece on Vander Weide in 2008, which can be read here (it also talks about his private Gulfstream jet). It gives some background on Vander Weide and how he became a part of the DeVos family and began working for the Magic. In addition to his Magic responsibilities, he had many other West Michigan business, roles and organizations to keep track of or be a part of, such as:
- Owner of VW Ventures located at 4940 Cascade Rd; Suite 220 in Grand Rapids.
- Of note VW Ventures owns the Ottawa Beach General Store that was purchased from bank after it foreclosed upon the Flipse’s, which you can read about in this past Ledger post.
- His family also runs the VanderWeide Family Foundation located at 126 OTTAWA AVE NW STE 500. GRAND RAPIDS, MI .
- Vander Weide is on the board of RDV Corporation
- President of the MVP Sportsplex gyms (very weird that the website is www.rdvsportsplex.com, couldn’t they get some form of mvp in the name? Or is it more promotion for the RDV corp?)
There are rumors going around that Vander Weide stepping down is also related to some marriage troubles with his wife, which Vander Weide flat out denies. He also states that by leaving the role of CEO of the Magic, he can devote more time to his family which includes 5 children. Since he will still be a part of the Magic organization in a consulting role, and likely still traveling back and forth from Grand Rapids to Orlando, I am not sure how much more time he will spend with them but per that Orlando Sentinel article, he makes it happen by working remotely in Grand Rapids, and flying around in the Gulfstream when needed.
I would be curious to find out how the story of the drunk dial got leaked? Was it Vander Weide’s paddle (does he mean ping pong?) & wine drinking buddies (They must have egged him on to call), or was Dwight Howard pissed about the call, and told some people in management? Or was it just general gossip.
If interested in the the whole transition of power at the Magic, here is the official scoop (warning more DeVos names in article).