It seems that Jimmy Haslam just can't tear himself away from the family business. The owner of the Cleveland Browns has returned to truck-stop chain Pilot Flying J as chief executive just five months after hiring non-family John Compton to take his place.
Haslam left the management of the Tennessee-based truck-stop and convenience store chain after buying the Cleveland Browns football team in August 2012 for $1 billion (€744 million). He had planned to focus all his efforts on the Browns.
However, he announced in a statement on 11 February that he would be "reassuming" his position with Pilot Flying J after realising how much he missed running the business. Haslam, 58, joined the company at the age of 20.
Haslam's father, James, founded the business as Pilot Corporation in 1958 and the family built up the chain by opening new outlets and acquiring other struggling truck-stop companies. In 2010 it merged with the Flying J chain to form Pilot Flying J – the Haslams have a 59% stake in Pilot Flying J, according to Forbes.
Pilot Flying J now has outlets across North America and is the sixth largest private business in the US according to Forbes. It had revenues of $29 billion in 2012.
Haslam said the decision to return had nothing to do with Compton's leadership. He told the Knoxville News Sentinel: "This is about me realising that my first love is running Pilot Flying J and wanting to return to that job."
Compton – a former PepsiCo executive – will take on a new role as strategic adviser to Pilot Flying J, the Cleveland Browns and the Haslam family.