The team announced the decision in a statement from Chairman and CEO Woody Johnson:
Our 2012 season was a disappointment to all of us. My goal every year as owner is to build a team that wins consistently. This year, we failed to achieve that goal.
This morning, I informed Mike Tannenbaum that he will not return for the 2013 season. Mike devoted 15 years of service to the Jets, and I want to thank him for his hard work and dedication. Although he helped guide us to two consecutive AFC Championship games, we are not where we want to be, and a new General Manager will be critical to getting this team back on the right track.
Starting immediately, we will conduct a search for a new General Manager. I’ve consulted with a number of football executives and I have also engaged the services of Korn/Ferry International, the same search firm that conducted the NFL Commissioner search in 2006. Our process with Korn/Ferry will be led by Jed Hughes, who heads their sports practice and who previously led the General Manager search for the Seattle Seahawks, among others. When we have updates on this process, we will provide them to our fans and the media.
Rex Ryan will remain the Head Coach of our football team. I believe that he has the passion, the talent, and the drive to successfully lead our team.
Like all Jets fans, I am disappointed with this year’s results. However, I am confident that this change will best position our team for greater success going forward.
Though many have expressed concern over Rex Ryan’s performance as head coach this season, it is Tannenbaum’s philosophy and direction of the team’s personnel, particularly on the offensive side of the ball and on draft day, that has hindered the team the most. The guy know as “trader Mike” helped construct a Jets offense that scored 10 points or fewer in seven games this season and finished the year averaging 17.6 points per game.
Also contributing to Tannenbaum’s demise was the construction of several bad contracts, namely the contract extension of quarterback Mark Sanchez, a financial hit that will likely cripple the team for the next two years.
Woody Johnson is currently at the Jets facility and more firings are expected to follow. He is not scheduled to address media on Tannenbaum firing or any other subsequent firings. Rex Ryan will also not speak with the media today — his 4 pm presser has been cancelled.
ESPN New York has already compiled a list of potential candidates on the team’s radar. You can check them out here.
UPDATE: Mike Tannenbaum has just released a statement, via Jets PR.
I want to thank Woody and his entire family for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime — serving as the General Manager of the New York Jets for seven years.
I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of rebuilding a winning tradition for Jets fans over the past 15 years. My days with Coach Parcells through my years as General Manager of the team that went to back-to-back AFC Championship games have been the fulfillment of a dream I have had since I was a little kid and I’ll always be grateful to Woody, the two head coaches, Rex and Eric, as well as all of the players, staff and the entire organization for this opportunity.
While of course it is disappointing to not achieve the ultimate goal of winning a championship, I am incredibly proud of our overall winning record and success. I feel very fortunate to have been the general manager who drafted cornerstone players during a period that yielded four playoff victories and 22 Pro Bowl appearances.
I appreciate that it is rare for someone to stay with one organization with such a wide range of responsibilities for so many years. My time with the Jets will always be special to me and my family and it has prepared me well for whatever comes next.
There are champions on this team that haven’t been crowned yet. I am confident that the base we’ve established will allow the New York Jets to continue a winning tradition for years to come and I wish everyone in the organization the best of luck.