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Former executive named 49ers president

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SAN FRANCISCO — Peter Harris, toy company FAO Schwarz's former chief executive officer, became president of the San Francisco 49ers on Wednesday.

Harris, 56, has full day-to-day control of the NFL franchise with an emphasis on the business end. General Manager Bill Walsh will continue to oversee the football side of the operation.

One of Harris' primary tasks will be reviving the stalled stadium-shopping mall project at Candlestick Point. The project stalled when Eddie DeBartolo Jr. and sister Denise DeBartolo York squabbled over team ownership. DeBartolo York took over in 1997.

"It's imperative that the team have a great stadium," Harris said. "I commit to exploring and then developing a stadium."

Harris has a reputation for turning around troubled companies, including FAO Schwarz. The toy company hired him as CEO in 1985 and he quadrupled profits within five years.

Since then, Harris worked for Accolade, a San Jose video game producer. He is head of The Picture People, a family studio portrait chain with 183 outlets in 19 states.

The 49ers have not had a permanent president since Carmen Policy left for the Cleveland Browns in 1998.