Tone at the Top

By Susie Adams

Earlier this year billionaire hedge fund manager David Tepper became the owner of the Carolina Panthers. Since taking control of the team, he has been open and accessible. Despite his billionaire status, Tepper is a blue-collar guy with Pittsburgh roots, and it shows.

At the Games, In the Community

He has been visible at games and in the community. Casual in style, he seemed to delight in a 12,000 backpack giveaway to CMS students in August. Clad in shorts and a Panthers shirt, he was smiling and high fiving with the students. Not your typical billionaire.

“He’s a regular guy,” said Bob Dammon, the current dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon.

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David Tepper Panthers
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He’s a guy you want to have a beer with. He’s a guy you can sit down and talk football with.

He’s somebody who treats people well. I always say that you can tell the character of a person by how they treat people who cannot help them.

And everybody I’ve seen him meet, he treats extremely well. And makes them feel as though he’s as happy to meet them as they are meeting him. And I’ve seen it time and again.


Regional Focus

He’s talked about practice facilities, and the rumors are that he is focused on the Carolinas, not just Charlotte. He says that it is the Carolina Panthers and he takes that literally.

Outreach & Care

Under his leadership, the Panthers invited Chancellor Lee Adams, and his grandmother, Saundra Adams to the stadium and to be on the field pregame for the first time. Chancellor is the son of former Panther Rae Carruth who spent nearly 19 years in prison after being convicted of arranging the murder of Chancellor’s mother and causing severe injury to her unborn child, Chancellor.

At the stadium Chancellor received gifts and well wishes from Panthers players and was greeted warmly by Tepper. It was a simple gesture that was big.

Setting Expectations

Tepper is reportedly not happy with the performance on the field this year and expects changes, but he is keeping the team’s general manager and coach. He understands the need for clear expectations and the disruption of wholesale changes. But he will likely make his expectations for success very clear.

We like what we see. And we’re eager to see what comes next.

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