Martha Firestone Ford has stepped down as the principal owner and chairman of the Lions, per a club announcement. Her daughter Sheila Ford Hamp will move up the ladder to take on both roles.
“Martha Ford has led the Lions with skill and grace for the past six seasons,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “I have appreciated her business insights, her love of the game, her deep commitment to the NFL, and her personal kindness. We are pleased that the Ford family will continue to own and operate this historic franchise. Sheila Hamp has become increasingly involved in team and league affairs over the past several years and we look forward to working with her and the rest of the club’s executive team.”
Martha Firestone Ford took over as Detroit’s principal owner and chairman in 2014 when her husband, William Clay Ford, passed away. Per the team’s succession plan, her daughter – previously a vice chairman – is now at the helm.
“My mother has inspired all of us since taking on leadership of the Lions over six years ago,” Hamp said. “She has been a tireless leader to our family, our team and our community. Her smart decisions have given me a solid foundation to take the team forward. On behalf of the family and the team, I want to thank her for her countless contributions. I look forward to leading the Lions to excellence on and off the field.”