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Incoming MLB commissioner reorganises executive team

Rob Manfred, the incoming commissioner of Major League Baseball (MLB), has opted to reorganise his executive team as part of an ongoing transition process ahead of his arrival into the post.

Bob Bowman, who has served as chief executive of the league's MLB Advanced Media division since 2000, has been appointed as the MLB’s new president of business and media. He will oversee direct revenue-generating and media rights activities across all MLB entities.

Pat Courtney, senior vice-president for public relations at MLB, will take on the role of chief communications officer. Courtney first joined the league in 1992 and has served as chief spokesman and head of media relations since 2010.

Elsewhere, executive vice-president for labour relations, Dan Halem, will take on the role of the MLB’s chief legal officer. Halem first joined MLB in 2007 as senior vice-president and general counsel before being promoted to his current role in December of last year.

Jonathan Mariner, executive vice-president finance and chief financial officer, has been named as the MLB’s chief investment officer.  In his new role, Mariner will help manage the Baseball Endowment fund, pension assets and potential new strategic investments.

Tony Petitti, who has served as president and chief executive of the league’s MLB Network pay-television broadcast service since its inception in 2008, will take on the role of chief operating officer.

Meanwhile, Bob Starkey of Starkey Sports Consulting has been appointed as the MLB’s chief financial officer and senior advisor. In addition, Joe Torre, executive vice-president for baseball operations, has been named as the MLB’s chief baseball officer.

“This accomplished group has extensive experience working for MLB and shares my enthusiasm for our game's future and the many exciting opportunities ahead,” Manfred said. “I look forward to working with these experts in their fields, all of whom are well acquainted with the landscape of our sport. I believe that their new roles will greatly benefit the game's long-term initiatives.

In addition to appointing various staff to new roles, the MLB has also announced that Tim Brosnan will step down from his role as executive vice-president business and chief executive of MLB Enterprises at the end of January.

Long-serving Brosnan first joined the MLB in 1991 as vice-president of business affairs for MLB International before going on to hold a number of other senior management roles. The MLB did not give a reason for Brosnan’s departure, however he ran against Manfred for the commissioner’s post.

Manfred was elected in August and was last month approved for a five-year term in the post, replacing long-serving Bud Selig, whose 22-years in charge of the league comes to an end in January. Manfred was up against Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner in August’s vote after the other candidate recommended by the search committee, Brosnan, withdrew from the race.

“Tim has been a great colleague for many years, and I know he will enjoy the same success in his future endeavours as he did with MLB,” Manfred said.