New York Jets owner Woody Johnson will be nominated by President Donald Trump to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, the White House announced Thursday night.
If Johnson is nominated and approved by the senate, his younger brother, Christopher Johnson, 58, will assume the role of chairman and CEO of the Jets, the team announced.
Christopher Johnson, a minority owner who lives in New York, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the team.
The news comes as no surprise, as Trump informally revealed in January that he planned to nominate Johnson, a major Republican donor. At that point, the Jets hatched their succession plan.
Woody Johnson, 70, will remain the owner, but he will be required to live in the United Kingdom. It’s a three-year appointment.
“The New York Jets have been an integral part of our family since 2000, but this is a unique opportunity for Woody. His patriotism and commitment to our country have always been a passion of his,” Christopher Johnson said in a statement.
“Over the years, we have learned that ownership of the New York Jets is a special responsibility. Personally, if Woody is nominated and confirmed, I would be honored to oversee the organization, continuing to build a team on and off the field that our fans are proud of and deserve.”
In March, Johnson accompanied his older brother to the owners’ meetings in Phoenix, a clear indication he was poised to take over.
“On behalf of the entire organization, we would be extremely proud to see Woody nominated and confirmed as U.S. Ambassador,” team president Neil Glat said. “We could not be more excited for him and his family.”
Daniel Rooney, the late Pittsburgh Steelers patriarch, served as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland from 2009 to 2012.
Also Thursday, Trump also announced his choice of Jamie McCourt, an attorney and former co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to be the U.S. ambassador to Belgium.