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Detroit Lions CFO Tom Lesnau Retires

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Tom Lesnau, the long-time chief financial officer of the Detroit Lions, has retired from his position, according to Mike O'Hara. Lesnau plans to remain with the team as a consultant for two years, but Luis Perez has taken over as the team's CFO.

Normally a change like this that is behind the scenes isn't newsworthy, but Lesnau deserves recognition for all of the work he has done for the Lions. He was hired by the team back in 1978 as an accountant and rose all the way up to become the CFO. Reflecting on his time with the team, he marveled at how much things have changed since 1978.

"In 1978, we did the payroll every week by hand," Lesnau said, laughing about the relative Dark Ages of sports finances.

The numbers were smaller, too. In 1978, the entire payroll for the football operation -- players, coaches and staff -- was $2 million. In 2010, it was $140 million.

"It's just totally different now," Lesnau said. "It's a lot more complex."

In addition to being the CFO, Lesnau was also the Lions' vice senior vice president of finance.