The departed executives collectively had put in more than 100 years of work for the Raiders, with most of their tenures stretching back to when Al Davis was still alive.
“Current people tell me the culture is worse than they’ve seen it,” Adams said.
Days after Badain’s departure, business-side employees were gathered into a team meeting room. For the next hour or so, Gruden, still the coach at the time, gave what was intended to be a rousing speech about teamwork, peppering his message with football metaphors as he paced around the room and asked the employees to get behind their new boss, Ventrelle, according to two former employees who were present.
But over the next year, that “team” would continue to unravel. Gruden was gone just three months after his speech, and in the immediate aftermath, employees were given spontaneous bonuses, either $5,000 or a percentage of their salary, depending on their rank with the team. One former employee who received this bonus felt it was an effort by Davis to boost morale — but there was more upheaval to come.
Jaime Stratton, who ran human resources for two years, left in April. Employees were informed of her departure in an email that said only that she was “no longer” with the team. Jeremy Aguero, the team’s chief operations and analytics officer, resigned in May after just seven months.
Days later, it was Ventrelle’s turn to go. Davis’s public statement gave no reason for his firing. Ventrelle insisted to The Review-Journal that he had tried to address the team’s problems with Davis, to no avail.
“When Mark was confronted about these issues he was dismissive and did not demonstrate the warranted level of concern,” Ventrelle said.