Rod Wood

President & CEO at Detroit Lions

As Detroit Lions Team President and CEO, Rod Wood oversees all football and business operations of the Lions organization and reports directly to Principal Owner and Chairman Sheila Ford Hamp. He was originally appointed team president on Nov. 19, 2015. Upon his hiring, Wood immediately began evaluating all business functions within the Lions and Ford Field. Concurrent with his organizational evaluation, Wood assisted the Ford Family with the search and ultimate hiring of Bob Quinn as the franchise's new general manager in 2016. On Feb. 5, 2018, the Lions hired Matt Patricia as the 27th head coach in franchise history following his 14 seasons with the New England Patriots. Wood's "everything is on the table" approach to shaping the business affairs of the franchise has made a tangible and positive impact on the business operations for both the Lions and Ford Field on and off the field. In his five years, Wood has implemented significant changes that range from day-to-day operations to new branding and has done so guided by a mission to improve the team's competitive financial position, fan engagement and overall customer experience. Wood has strengthened the Lions and Ford Field brands with improved business partnerships and more strategic alliances that positively influence business initiatives and provide necessary financial support to the club's football operations. In February 2017, Wood unveiled plans for the first major renovation to the Detroit Lions' home stadium, Ford Field, since it opened its doors in 2002. The $100 million investment incorporated a complete overhaul of the audio and visual experience that features new videoboards as well as a new state-of-the-art sound system. The stadium's premium spaces also received a complete makeover with expanded offerings to fans. "We still hear what a great venue Ford Field is from our fans, visiting teams and the great acts that have performed here," Wood said. "The Ford Family is making a substantial investment to make sure our stadium remains among the best, but ultimately it's still about winning football games. We want to get fans in the building having a great time and excited about what they're experiencing so that they can continue to help us create a home field advantage." During this time, the team also unveiled a comprehensive rebranding initiative that emphasized the classic colors of Honolulu Blue and Silver. At the forefront of the team's rebranding and perhaps its most visible assets, the Lions' new uniforms, revealed in April 2017, now feature Home, Away, Throwback and Color Rush combinations. With the fan game-day experience a primary focus for Wood, his team also implemented a significant upgrade to the stadium's Wi-Fi and oversaw the return of a team cheerleading squad for the first time in four decades. These enhancements aided Ford Field in reaching new heights in 2017 as the stadium set records with six standing-room-only games and a total attendance of 513,100, which topped the previous record of 510,369 in 2013. Three Lions games in 2017 also ranked among the six most attended in stadium history, including a new Ford Field Thanksgiving (11/23/17) record of 66,613. In May 2019, the Lions also announced a partnership with FieldTurf to upgrade the Ford Field playing surface to a new FieldTurf Classic HD system. Off the field, Wood provided support for an initial $600,000 commitment from Mrs. Ford and players toward the launch of Detroit Lions Inspire Change, the team's social justice initiative in the City of Detroit. The initiative will continue into 2020 through grants to nine Metro Detroit organizations. Additionally, Wood works alongside Quinn and Patricia to improve the team's football infrastructure at the Lions' Allen Park practice facility. Over the past three years, they have completely renovated and updated the weight room and practice fields, along with other ongoing facility improvements and branding enhancements. At the League level, Wood was appointed to and serves on the NFL's Investment Committee. For the eight years prior to his appointment as team president, Wood worked closely with the Detroit Lions organization and the Ford Family in his role as President and CEO of Ford Estates. From 1999 until his appointment at Ford Estates in 2007, Wood was Executive Vice President of Wealth Management for the Wilmington Trust Company in Wilmington, Del., a $400 million operation with 17 offices in eight states. Wood directed the company's entire wealth management business nationally, and he managed the personal trust, financial planning, private banking, investment management, family office services and sales functions for the wealth advisory business of Wilmington Trust. Prior to joining Wilmington Trust, Wood held an executive position with Comerica Bank where he oversaw 12 offices in four states. Over the years, Wood has been a member on numerous company and non-profit boards. He now serves on the board of trustees and is an officer for Detroit Lions Charities. He is also a member of the boards for CATCH, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for pediatric patients and their families at Children's Hospital of Michigan and Henry Ford Hospital; the Downtown Detroit Partnership, which includes business, philanthropic and government partners that strengthen the city through strategic initiatives and programs; City Year Detroit, an organization that provides in-classroom support that helps students stay in school, become more engaged and perform better academically; as well as the Detroit Sports Organizing Corporation, geared specifically to identify, bid and attract sporting events to the region. Wood graduated from Goodrich (Mich.) High School, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan and a graduate degree from the ABA Graduate School of Commercial Banking. Wood and his wife, Susan, have one daughter, Alison, and a son, Taylor.
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