Larry Lucchino, who oversaw the rebuilding of the Boston Red Sox on the field and in the grandstand, will step down as BoSox president/CEO by the end of the year, but will still remain active in the pursuit of a new Triple-A ballpark in Providence.
Lucchino joined the Red Sox in 2002, coming over from the San Diego Padres at the behest of John Henry and Tom Werner, and immediately set in motion a plan to overhaul the franchise, beginning on the player side with an analytics approach to player evaluation, and then on the ballpark side, with the makeover of Fenway Park. Sam Kennedy, who is currently Red Sox executive vice president/chief operating officer, will be the new president. Kennedy is emblematic of Lucchino’s hiring techniques: Lucchino hired Kennedy while at the Padres, and when Lucchino came over to the Red Sox Kennedy followed. From the Boston Globe:
The Red Sox have been exploring a succession plan from Lucchino for some time. With his contract expiring at the end of the year, the club finally decided the time was right for Lucchino’s everyday responsibilities to come to an end. A key factor in the timing also was the club’s desire to promote, and not lose, the next generation of leaders, topped by Kennedy, in the Red Sox’ executive branch.
Kennedy will formally assume his new duties as soon as the end of October but a transition of duties has already begun.
“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 said.
Under Lucchino, the Red Sox won three World Series titles and, with Janet Marie Smith, he guided the overhaul of Fenway Park from a creaky old facility to one with an expanded, enhanced game-day experience that included improved fan facilities in right-center field, a pregame party area on Yawkey Way and the installation of Green Monster seats.
As noted, Lucchino will remain active in the pursuit of a new Providence (R.I.) ballpark for the Pawtucket Red Sox (Class AAA; International League). The response to public funding for the new ballpark was less than overwhelming, so Lucchino and the rest of the PawSox ownership — which includes community members and part of the Fenway Sports Management ownership — are embarking on a listening tour throughout the state to persuade fans that the new ballpark would be an enhancement to downtown Providence.