SBJ/Jan. 24-30, 2011/Franchises

Rangers refashion executive team

The Texas Rangers’ hire last week of former Boston Red Sox executive Joe Januszewski to be executive vice president for business partnerships and development completed a dramatic executive reshaping that owner Chuck Greenberg believes will help transform the club.

Januszewski, whose eight-year run in Boston coincided with the growth of that franchise, remaking of Fenway Park and acquisition of Liverpool FC, follows recent Rangers hires of Rick George from the PGA Tour, Todd Taylor from the Milwaukee Brewers and Jay Miller from Ryan-Sanders Baseball.

George will be COO for the Rangers, Taylor will work as executive vice president for ticket sales and marketing, and Miller assumes a role as senior vice president.

Greenberg, along with co-owner and team President Nolan Ryan and their other partners, received formal approval last August from MLB to acquire the team from debt-strapped Tom Hicks.

“We had a situation where we inherited not only some very talented people in place already, but also some senior positions that needed to be filled,” Greenberg said. “So what we’ve done to help achieve our vision of what this franchise can be and all the potential it has is go after proven performers who are really dynamic, really skilled at what they do. We’ve purposely been patient and methodical about it. But with Rick, Joe, Todd and Jay now on board, we’re now done [with senior-level hires] and we couldn’t be more pleased.

Greenberg said he reviewed enough résumés, both solicited and unsolicited, “to fill 10 front offices.” He also sought permission from each of the quartet’s former employers before making the hires.

“This is a franchise that a lot of us look at as a sleeping giant,” said Januszewski, who went to the University of Texas and has personal and professional ties in the state. “Chuck and Nolan are forward thinkers, and there’s no question there are parallels to where the Rangers are now to where the Red Sox were in 2002,” when John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino arrived.

With the Rangers entering their first full season under Greenberg-Ryan control as defending American League champions, the team is projecting upward spikes in ticket sales, total revenue and player payroll for 2011. Ticket sales in particular, which reached just 7,500 full-season equivalents in 2010, are already above 10,000 with more than two months of selling remaining before Opening Day.

“We’ll make an enormous amount of progress this year,” Greenberg said. “I’m less fixated hitting specific numbers than doing all the things we need to do in terms of customer service, being competitive and so forth. But if we do those things, the results will take care of themselves.”

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