ESPN Sources: Phoenix Suns are hiring Detroit Pistons executive Josh Bartelstein as CEO. Owner Mat Ishbia targeted Bartelstein, a current assistant GM who ascended over several years on business side to EVP of Business and Basketball Operations under Vice Chairman Arn Tellem.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) March 4, 2023
New Suns owner Mat Ishbia will replace former Suns’ CEO Jason Rowley with Bartelstein. It’s the first major personnel move since he officially took over in early February.
Ishbia is on the record saying he is looking to revamp the Suns’ culture from the ground up, so this could be the first of several changes in the coming months as he observes the current structure and operations that are in place.
Woj notes that president of basketball ops and general manager James Jones will still lead the basketball operations and report directly to Ishbia.
Bartelstein is just 33 years old but has quite the resume in his young professional NBA career, as illustrated below.
Bartelstein, 33, has ascended quickly in his executive career, spending seven years working his way to executive VP of business and basketball operations under Palace Sports and Entertainment vice chairman Arn Tellem. Bartelstein worked on number of major projects, including the franchise’s relocation to a new downtown arena. He moved over to basketball operations as an assistant general manager in 2022, working with GM Troy Weaver. That transition gave Bartelstein a fuller résumé to move into a CEO role.
Josh is the son of Mark Bartelstein, the CEO of Priority Sports and Entertainment. That is certainly something to keep an eye on moving forward.