CHICAGO (WCIA) — Former Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren was formally introduced as the new Chicago Bears President and CEO during a ceremony at Halas Hall on Tuesday. Warren replaces Ted Phillips, who is retiring after four decades with the franchise, including the last 23 as President and CEO. Warren is just the fifth president in the organization’s 103-year history, leaving the Big Ten after just three years.
“I would say I left the Big Ten in a demonstratively better position,” Warren said on Tuesday. “I had done what I was called there to be able to do.”
Warren’s tenure with the conference got off to a rocky start, taking over for Jim Delany at the start of a worldwide pandemic. Warren’s legacy will be remembered for securing a new multi-billion dollar TV rights deal and adding UCLA and USC to the Big Ten. Now his focus shifts back to the NFL, where he spent more than two decades working for the Rams, Lions and Vikings.
“I came here to win championships,” Warren said about his new position with the Bears. “To win the NFC North. To win the NFC. To win the Super Bowl. To help shepherd and lead a stadium development project.”
Warren led the Vikings as COO, playing a big part in bringing the city a new stadium in 2016. He was involved in the design, construction, business, legal and operational components of U.S. Bank Stadium that opened in 2016. Warren will bring that experience to the Bears, as they look to build a stadium in Arlington Heights.
“I remember when we finished the stadium, I had all these boxes of binders,” Warren said about his time in Minneapolis. “Many people said, ‘You’ll never use those again, you can get rid of those’ but I’m glad I saved them. The biggest thing I learned is you need to plan before you start digging. What makes U.S. Bank so special is we spent almost a year in planning, and planning is critical.”
Warren said he will be able to offer more of a timeline for the project in about six months.