The NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Tatum to NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer, the league announced Thursday.

A 15-year veteran of the league office, Tatum will assume his new role on Feb. 1 when current NBA deputy commissioner and COO Adam Silver becomes NBA commissioner, replacing the retiring David Stern.

"Mark Tatum's appointment as NBA deputy commissioner is recognition of the confidence our owners and teams have in his leadership ability and track record of success," Silver said in a statement. "As deputy commissioner and COO, Mark will use his extensive industry relationships and knowledge of our game to help guide and grow our league."