Pro Football Hall of Fame president and executive director Stephen A. Perry announced his retirement on Wednesday.
Perry, 67, earlier this summer informed the Hall of Fame's senior management team and the Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees, including NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, and Hall of Fame members who were in Canton, Ohio, for the enshrinement ceremony of his plans.
"I didn't want my retirement to be a distraction during the 2013 Enshrinement Festival and Golden Anniversary Reunion of Hall of Fame members," Perry said. "While there is no perfect time to have a change in the president-executive director position, now, with the recent completion of our expansion and renovation programs and the securing of a long-term television contract with NFL Network, we are well-positioned for a smooth and orderly transition to continue our record of success."
Perry served in the position for seven years. During that time, he led facility iprovements that included a recently completed $27 million "Future 50" expansion, renovation and modernization project.
"It has been an honor to work with Steve over the past several years," Goodell said. "He is a true professional and a focused leader with a dedicated passion for football and the Hall of Fame. We thank him and congratulate him on a job well done."
The Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees has established a search committee to find a successor. Perry will stay on until a replacement is found.
"He is a man of great passion and vision, which was reflected in the unprecedented growth of the Hall of Fame during his tenure," said Frank Cooney, publisher of The Sports Xchange and a 20-year member of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. "He will be missed."
Perry served on the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees from 1992 to 2001 before becoming its fifth full-time president-executive director in 2006. His successors included John Bankert, Pete Elliott, Dick Gallagher and Dick McCann.
"I am very proud to have been so closely associated with the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the legendary men who are enshrined here," Perry said. "I'm also very proud to have been associated with the members of the Hall of Fame board, staff and volunteers as we worked in collaboration with the NFL, the Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce and the people of this community to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame America's premier sports Hall of Fame."