Heather Davis replaces Merritt Paulson as CEO of the Portland Timbers


the Portland Timbers She named Heather Davis as the new CEO.

She originally joined Timbers in May 2022 as General Counsel. Davis will now oversee all aspects of the business and operation of the Portland Timbers, Portland Thorns and Providence Park.

“Heather has been amazing during her time here,” Timbers owner Merritt Paulson said in a statement.

“She joined us through a challenging period and has overseen hugely positive change for the club. We had tremendous outside interest in the position, but Heather has gained the trust of our staff and it has been no pleasure removing the word ‘temporary’ from her title. She will be an outstanding leader for our organisation.”

Prior to her employment with the Timbers, Davis spent nine years in the NFL office as a lead consultant for international operations.

Her work has included major NFL events such as the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Draft, and international games in London and Mexico. Most notably, Davis drafted and led negotiations for the NFL’s stadium partnership with Premier League team Tottenham Hotspur.

“I am incredibly grateful for the support of our staff and for the confidence Merritt has shown in me to lead this club,” Davis said in a statement.

“It is an extraordinary privilege to be entrusted with leading such a successful and storied franchise that means so much to so many in my state. We will continue to do the work to be a first-in-class club that everyone can be proud of.”

She replaces Merritt Paulson, who stepped down as CEO following the findings of the Sally Q. Yates/NWSL investigation. Reports revealed his knowledge of former Portland Thorns manager Paul Riley’s abuse within the team.

In addition to the allegations against Riley, the report detailed how the Portland organization sought to silence the reasons for Riley’s departure.


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