NASHVILLLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Titans President and CEO Tommy Smith today announced he is retiring from that role, after deciding that serving in that demanding position while serving as president and chairman of publicly traded Adams Resources and Energy, Inc., was not in the best interest of either organization. "I have given this decision very careful thought, and while I dearly love the Titans and am proud of my active role with the franchise over many decades, I can't serve two big roles as effectively as I had hoped. My family, my long-term personal health and the ability to make sound daily decisions for two fine companies all came into play.
"We have made some moves within the Titans organization, both on and off the field, that I believe will bring some very positive immediate results," Smith said. "There is a side of me that wishes I could continue to be heavily involved, but I will remain an avid Titans fan while leaving those decisions in the hands of professionals who are fully focused. My family and Adams Resources will get my full-time attention."
Adams Resources, the Houston-based company competing for Smith's time and attention, has more than $4 billion in annual revenues and 870 employees. The company and its subsidiaries engage in crude oil marketing, tank truck transportation of liquid chemicals and oil and gas exploration and production.
Replacing Smith at the helm of the team at least on a short-time basis will be Steve Underwood, a familiar face for Titans fans because he served for six years as the senior executive vice president who oversaw day-to-day operations for the team after having been a general counsel and handling other key roles. Underwood retired in 2011.
Between serving the team when he was in private legal practice when the franchise was the Houston Oilers, and his work within the team's hierarchy, Underwood's experience with the Oilers and Titans spanned 35 years.
Smith is married to Susie Adams Smith, who along with Amy Adams Strunk and Kenneth Adams IV, serves as a director of the team founded more than 50 years ago by the late K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr. The senior Adams died in October 2013. Smith took over the team's oversight and management after the death of his father-in-law. But prior to that, he had been involved with administrative roles for the organization, including heavy involvement in the Houston-to-Nashville move in 1997.