Red Sox president and CEO Larry Lucchino will step down from his role with the team, the Boston Herald first reported Saturday evening. According to the report from Michael Silverman and Steve Buckley, the Red Sox have been exploring a succession plan for Lucchino for some time.
Brookline native Sam Kennedy, who is currently the executive vice president and chief operation office with the team, will replace Lucchino as president of the team. Kennedy, however, will not have a role in baseball operations. No replacement for the Red Sox COO position has been named for the time being.
Reports of Lucchino's lessened influence in the Red Sox front office have surfaced for some time. Lucchino, who turns 70 years old next month, has also invested a lot of his time in recent years in the purchase of the Pawtucket Red Sox and the minor league affiliate's effort to build a new stadium in Providence, Rhode Island. According to the Herald, a transition of Lucchino's position to Kennedy has already begun.
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"The truth is Sam is an important part of this puzzle. He's been working for me for 20 years, right out of college. He's certainly my choice, as well as that of John and Tom, to be promoted to the position of president," Lucchino told the Herald.
Kennedy turned down an opportunity for a top position at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., who owns by the Toronto Maples Leafs of the NHL and the Toronto Raptors of the NBA, this past offseason. Kennedy was heavily involved in the team's investments in Liverpool Football, Roush Fenway Racing and NESN.
"I think Sam is one of the rising stars in baseball," Werner said to the Herald. "He has always been popular in the community, as he's been not only very instrumental in helping us raise revenues but also there's probably not a month or two where I don't get a call from someone asking if they can interview Sam for a high position at another sports franchise – not just in baseball. In fact, Toronto asked for permission to interview Sam earlier this year."
Under Lucchino, the Red Sox won three World Series. In addition, he has worked as President/CEO of the Baltimore and San Diego Padres. Lucchino played an instrumental role in starting the trend in old-fashion ballparks, such as Camden Yards and Petco Park. Lucchino has been with the Red Sox since February of 2002.