Amy Trask, the NFL’s first female front office executive, resigned from the Oakland Raiders today following months of speculation about her future within the evolving organizational structure.
Trask, who was the only female CEO in the NFL and held that role since 1997, said in an email, “Earlier today, I informed (team owner) Mark Davis of my decision to leave the Raiders.
“Having honored a commitment that I made to effectuate a smooth transition and transfer of control, I no longer wish to remain with the organization.
“For over a quarter of a century, it was my honor and my privilege to work for the Raiders. I will forever appreciate the opportunity afforded me by Al Davis.”
Trask’s devotion to Davis and the Raiders organization was as legendary as the franchise’s logo. While in law school at USC in 1983, Trask interned with the Raiders legal department. After a short career at a Los Angeles law firm, Davis offered Trask a position with the Raiders’ legal department in 1987.
Her hiring was frowned upon by many old-school NFL owners, who didn’t believe a woman belonged in any executive role in their front offices. But Davis placed a great deal of trust in Trask’s decision-making and her counsel.
Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, whose father Lamar was among the founders of the AFL and had many epic battles with Davis, told ESPN that Trask and Davis have “very different personalities.
"I do know for sure that everything that she did up until Mr. Davis passed away she did with his approval. But she's much more of a consensus builder, I'd say, than Al was,” Hunt said. “And somebody who has worked very hard within the framework of the league to get things done as opposed to certain cases [when] Al worked outside of the framework of the league.
"I would say she has been able to gain the respect of the other 31 teams in what was probably a difficult situation. First of all, she was not the owner representing the Raiders, and very few teams are not represented by their owners. And she was one of the very first females in the room representing a club. She's so capable that everybody looked past that and accepted her as an equal."
In recent years, Trask was heavily involved in the marketing of the team and promoting ticket and group sales. She worked to improve the stadium experience, particularly in the area of fan safety and enjoyment in the parking and common areas, turning a once-intimidating Oakland-Alameda Coliseum trip into the family friendly experience she envisioned.
Trask’s resignation has been widely expected in NFL circles for many months. After many years of working for the same organization, she had spoken recently of looking for new opportunities outside the Raiders and away from the NFL.
An NFL source said Saturday, “She seems very at ease.”
The Raiders released a statement thanking Trask for her tenure with the franchise.
''Mark Davis, Carol Davis and the rest of the Raiders family would like to thank Amy Trask for her valued contributions to the Raiders for the past 25 years," the statement read. "The Raiders wish her the very best in her future endeavors."
Trask had been closely involved in talks regarding the Raiders' unstable stadium situation in Oakland, and with the team entering the final year of its lease at the NFL's only dual-purpose ballpark, it's unclear who will take the reins in those negotiations.