The Toronto Blue Jays have already made the biggest move of their off-season: they removed “interim” from Paul Beeston’s title.
Today Beeston agreed to become the president and CEO of the club and Rogers Centre for the next three years. He had held the position for the past 12 months in an interim role.
During that period, team owner Rogers Communications Inc. repeatedly asked him to take over the job permanently. After much consideration, Beeston decided over the weekend to accept the offer.
“I was prepared to turn this over,” Beeston said. “It’s only been in the last kind of month where I’ve said if I’m going to be here and I’m going to be in some role […] I might as well do it the best I can.”
After twelve months of pursuing Beeston and other potential candidates, the Blue Jays’ parent company was relieved to have the position filled.
“We are thrilled that we were able to convince Paul Beeston to take on this role,” Tony Viner, president and CEO of Rogers Media said in a statement. “Paul’s unique set of qualities made him our clear first choice,”
“He approached the [interim] role with his usual high energy and conviction to set the club up for success — something he’s now committed to do for the long term.”
In October, 2008, Beeston took over from Paul Godfrey and was tasked with finding a permanent successor who could make a five-10 year commitment to the team.
“We got here from a very honest, straightforward and exhaustive search for somebody to be the CEO,” Beeston said to the Canadian Press. “We interviewed a number of people.”
Beeston was the Blue Jays’ first employee when the club was started in May, 1976, and was an integral part of the team’s golden years in the 1980s and 1990s.
During his first tenure as president and CEO the Toronto Blue Jays won two World Series championships. He is one of nine former members of the organization who are enshrined on the “Level of Excellence” at the Rogers Centre.
Beeston left in 1997 to become the chief operating officer in Major League Baseball’s commissioner’s office, a post he held in 2002.
Since his return to Toronto’s front office, he has remade the organization, including hiring new general manager Alex Anthopoulos to replace J. P. Ricciardi.
According to Beeston, the first order of business is to work with Anthopoulos and his staff and decide what direction the team should take.
Paul Beeston’s Previous Record as President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays
1989: 89-73 (.549)
1990: 86-76 (.531)
1991: 91-71 (.562)
1992: 96-66 (.593)
1993: 95-67 (.586)
1994: 55-60 (.478 abbreviated by lockout)
1995: 56-88 (.389)
1996: 74-88 (.457)
1997: 76-86 (.469)
2009: 75-87 (.463)
Total: 793-762 (.510)