Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Chairman Tad Decker has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday at 11 a.m.With all of the appeals of slot parlor licenses decided in the board’s favor, it could be a good time for Decker to make the long-rumored announcement that he would return to his old firm, Cozen O’Connor, as its next chief executive officer.As first reported in The Legal in late June, Decker is apparently set to take over for firm founder, Patrick J. O’Connor who has already stepped down as president to take a role as vice president of the firm.
Founder Stephen A. Cozen will continue to serve as chairman, but both he and O’Connor have relinquished much of their leadership roles to a newly created board of directors and a management committee.
Decker had been managing partner of Cozen O’Connor from 2000 until his departure for the board in 2004.
In the past few months, neither Decker nor Cozen O’Connor would confirm whether Decker was set to leave the board for the firm.
Sources in both Philadelphia and Harrisburg have said that water-cooler talk has long placed Decker as the incoming CEO.
“That is very much the plan,” one source said when asked in June if Decker was going back to Cozen O’Connor to run the firm.
The firm had said the announcement could have come as early as July 15, but as that deadline has come and gone, sources said Decker was having a difficult time getting out of Harrisburg.
Cozen O’Connor had announced a year ago that it was in the process of succession planning, making changes to several department and practice leadership roles within the firm. The succession planning would conclude, the firm had said, with O’Connor stepping down as CEO, probably by the end of 2006.
“My guess was always that they were waiting for Tad to be available,” another source had said.
In the fall of 2004, Rendell had appointed Decker, a personal friend, to the $150,000-a-year position.
–Gina Passarella, Staff Reporter