Chicago Bears rent Big Ten’s Kevin Warren as president, CEO

CHICAGO — The Chicago Bears named Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren as their president and CEO on Thursday.

Warren will exchange outgoing president and CEO Ted Phillips, who introduced his retirement final September following the 2022 season. He’s the primary president and CEO employed from outdoors the Bears group and the primary Black president in staff historical past.

“Kevin is a man of integrity, respect and excellence, all of which are critical core values of the Chicago Bears, and we welcome his perspective and diverse thought to lead this storied organization,” Bears chairman George H. McCaskey stated in an announcement. “He is a proven leader who has many times stepped outside of his comfort zone to challenge status quo for unconventional growth and prosperity. In this role, Warren will serve in the primary leadership position of the franchise to help bring the next Super Bowl championship trophy home to Bears fans.”

Warren will oversee normal supervisor Ryan Poles and the enterprise operations of the membership, in response to a press launch from the staff. Poles at present reviews to McCaskey, an organizational change that came about when he was employed as GM in January 2022. Earlier normal managers had reported to Phillips.

Warren knowledgeable Illinois chancellor Robert Jones, chair of the Big Ten council of presidents/chancellors, of his departure, in response to sources. The Big Ten presidents and chancellors are set to fulfill later Thursday morning.

Bears personnel have been informed internally that Warren’s first day might be April 17, a supply informed ESPN’s Pete Thamel. Warren might be launched throughout a press convention at Halas Corridor on Tuesday.

“I am honored and recognize the responsibility bestowed upon me to lead the Chicago Bears during this exciting and pivotal time for the franchise,” Warren stated in an announcement. “I look forward to building on the rich tradition that started with George Halas and connecting with the unique and vibrant fanbase in Chicago. I join the Chicago Bears with gratitude and drive to carry out and build upon the legacy and spirit of this founding franchise and my predecessors. This is a franchise that is respected in all of professional sports, and I am humbled to be selected as the next President & CEO of the Chicago Bears. I sincerely thank Virginia McCaskey, George McCaskey, the McCaskey family, Ted Phillips and the search team, for the responsibility and trust placed in me to lead the Chicago Bears and deliver championships to Chicago.”

Warren has been with the Big Ten since June 2019 however just lately was not given a contract extension by the convention, sources informed Thamel. Final summer time, Warren helped develop the convention with the additions of USC and UCLA as member establishments starting in August 2024. He additionally secured the Big Ten’s seven-year media rights settlement price greater than $7 billion with CBS, Fox and NBC.

Warren’s in depth expertise within the NFL spans 21 years and contains stints with the Rams, Lions and Vikings, with whom he labored from 2005 to 2019. He spent 2005-14 because the Vikings’ government vice chairman of authorized affairs and chief administrative officer earlier than being promoted to Minnesota’s chief working officer in 2015.

Sources informed ESPN that Warren’s impression in serving to the Vikings construct U.S. Financial institution Stadium in 2016 has been interesting to the Bears, who’re additionally trying to assemble a brand new stadium after 50 seasons at Soldier Discipline. The Bears goal to shut on their 326-acre buy of Arlington Heights in the course of the first quarter of 2023 and unveiled preliminary plans for improvement, which is ready to incorporate a domed stadium, final fall.

“Kevin is going to be a tremendous resource and I am excited to get started with him,” Bears normal supervisor Ryan Poles stated. “In my time spent with him during the interview process, it quickly became apparent his resumé and business acumen will be a powerful asset to helping improve our organization and ultimately reach our goal to be a championship organization.”

The Bears have been below contract on the property since September 2021, once they signed a $197.2 million buy and sale settlement.

Phillips spent 40 seasons with the Bears, together with the previous 23 in his function as president/CEO. He was solely the fourth individual to function president within the group’s 102-year existence and the primary outdoors of the Halas-McCaskey household to carry that publish.

“It was important to ensure the Bears had the right leader in place before I retired,” Phillips stated. “Kevin will do an excellent job of bringing the best out of the great people at Halas Hall and continue the evolution of our proud franchise.”

ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg contributed to this report.