"His track record in Philadelphia has been impressive," Haslam told reporters in Chicago at the owners' meetings after he announced the hiring.
The Browns did not make any other moves, but team president Mike Holmgren announced that he would retire at the end of the season. Banner, in essence, has replaced Holmgren, once Eagles coach Andy Reid's mentor in Green Bay.
When Banner stepped down as Eagles president in June, there was speculation that Reid had forced him out in a power struggle. Banner reiterated Tuesday that he left the Eagles after 18 years because he was looking forward to another challenge.
"The biggest issue for me was trying to find an owner I respected," Banner said. "We have a new ownership group and there are similar challenges to the ones we faced in Philadelphia. But there's also the opportunity to create what you want it to be for a fan base that hasn't exactly had much to cheer."
The Browns are 1-5 this season and have qualified for the playoffs only once since they returned to the NFL in 1999. The city of Cleveland has not experienced a professional sports championship since 1964, when the Browns won the NFL championship.
"It's a sports-crazy town," said Banner, who attended college at Denison University in Ohio. "That was something that was very appealing to me. It's hard to match the passion we had here in Philly, but even though Cleveland is a smaller market, it matches it."
Despite a strong run, Banner was never quite able to reach the finish line with the Eagles. The team reached the NFC championship five times and the Super Bowl once during his tenure. The Eagles did not scale those heights until Banner and owner Jeffrey Lurie hired Reid in 1999.
Haslam said that he would not make any coaching and personnel changes until after the season. Still, the slow start coupled with previous losing seasons could signal the end for coach Pat Shurmur and general manager Tom Heckert, both of whom once worked with the Eagles.
"I don't think there's any team at the end of the season that doesn't sit down and completely evaluate its football operations," Banner said. "Obviously, when you bring in new ownership it's going to have its own vision about how to do things."
Banner was asked to give his assessment on how the 3-3 Eagles were faring and to give an opinion on Reid's blockbuster decision to fire Juan Castillo as defensive coordinator on Tuesday. He declined.
When Banner stepped down, Don Smolenski replaced him as Eagles president and Howie Roseman's responsibilities as general manager increased. Banner held an advisory role to Lurie after the front-office shake-up.
"The frequency in which I've been involved with the team since June has been minimal," Banner said. "I've still been involved with other projects. But it's Jeff, Don, Andy, and Howie's show and has been for a while."
Contact Jeff McLane at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @Jeff_McLane on Twitter.