New Mavs CEO Cynthia Marshall touts culture change: 'Zero tolerance for sexual harassment'

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban moved fast to put a new face on his team’s response to last week’s bombshell Sports Illustrated report detailing “a corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior.

On Monday, he introduced new interim CEO Cynthia Marshall, the former chief diversity officer and vice president of human resources at AT&T.

Marshall made no bones about what her job in Dallas details, diving straight into addressing the furor surrounding the team at a news conference.

“I’m very saddened that issues of domestic violence and sexual harassment are so prominent in our society and allegations have surfaced once again in our organization,” Marshall said.

Marshall went on to detail a three-pronged approach to address the allegations around the team including an independent investigation, an effort to change the culture around the team and a plan to implement practices that ensure the organization remains on the right track.

Mark Cuban hired Cynthia Marshall, a complete outsider, to be the face of the team’s response to last week’s report of sexual misconduct in the workplace. (AP)

Her first stated goal is to uncover any outstanding instances of harassment or abuse in the workplace.

“Allegations will be thoroughly investigated, and any required disciplinary action will be administered swiftly,” Marshall said.

Marshall also outlined a progressive approach to creating a modern, safe workplace for employees.

“What I mean by inclusive is a work environment where all cultures, genders, abilities and backgrounds are valued and celebrated,” she said. … “A culture where pay is equitable for men and women. All employees have access to opportunities. Diversity is represented in all parts of the organization and at all levels. It’s a workplace where there is zero tolerance for sexual harassment, domestic violence or any type of inappropriate behavior.”

The hiring of a complete outsider — someone who admittedly had never heard of Cuban before he reached out to her — and putting her front and center is a bold move from the Mavs owner.

It also may be a necessary one for an owner under intense scrutiny and possibly facing significant punishment from the NBA depending on what and how much he knew.