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Volume 21 No. 39
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Manfred’s sweeping changes

MLB commissioner acts on McKinsey’s recommendations

Tony Petitti: Deputy Commissioner, Business and Media
Dan Halem: Deputy Commissioner, Baseball Administration
Chris Marinak: Executive Vice President, Strategy, Tech, Innovation
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has started a sweeping reorganization that unifies the league office, MLB Advanced Media and MLB Network into one entity and elevates top executives Tony Petitti and Dan Halem to deputy commissioners.

Petitti, MLB’s chief operating officer since late 2014 and before that the initial president of MLB Network, will become deputy commissioner for business and media, overseeing the league’s revenue-generating functions and content. Dan Halem, with baseball since 2007, has been named deputy commissioner for baseball administration and will continue in his prior role as chief legal officer.

Manfred also will elevate Chris Marinak, who becomes executive vice president of strategy, technology and innovation. Marinak, a two-time SportsBusiness Journal Forty Under 40 winner, will touch a wide number of areas that includes labor policy, on-field technology such as MLB’s instant replay system and Statcast, and scheduling, working closely with club owners.

Pat Courtney: Chief Communications Officer
Bob Starkey: Chief Financial Officer and Senior Adviser
With these moves, Manfred will have a five-person senior team of executives reporting directly to him (see chart). Along with the three previously mentioned, Chief Communications Officer Pat Courtney, an MLB employee since 1992, remains leading public relations, social responsibility, community affairs and charities, while Chief Financial Officer Bob Starkey adds direct oversight of finance operations for MLBAM and MLB Network.

Below this level, Manfred also has expanded the roles of Noah Garden, who becomes executive vice president for commerce, leading all sales and ticketing activity for the entire sport; and Chris Park, now executive vice president of product and marketing. Garden’s sales portfolio in particular will include MLB’s entire set of assets including league relationships, MLBAM, MLB Network and MLB International. Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, part of Manfred’s senior executive team since Manfred became commissioner in early 2015, remains in place, working closely with Halem.

While Garden, Park and Torre are not direct reports to Manfred, each will stand as a key adviser to the commissioner.

The personnel moves come amid the departure of MLB President of Business and Media Bob Bowman, who will leave the league Dec. 31 after an impactful 17-year run.

MLB’s reorganization also stems from a four-month review of baseball’s operations by management consulting firm McKinsey & Co. The study, which began last summer, ties into Manfred’s broader goal to unify baseball’s business functions and more closely align his office with lower levels of the game.

“The new structure will combine our operations into a single unit, promote efficiency and position us to take advantage of the many opportunities that lie ahead,” Manfred said. “We look forward to continuing the game’s momentum and better serving the clubs and all baseball fans.”

The changes precede a scheduled move in 2019 to a new midtown Manhattan headquarters that will house the currently split MLB and MLBAM.

With MLB’s new senior executive structure now in place, further decisions remain on personnel within each of the individual departments they lead. Among the areas the McKinsey study was designed to explore was what MLB’s organization should look like as it moves from the previously separated structure to the single model Manfred seeks.

Additional department-level staffing decisions are expected prior to the beginning of MLB’s spring training in February.