By Shannon Drayer
The Mariners have a new club president.
Kevin Mather, who was previously the executive vice president of finance and ballpark operations, has been promoted to president and chief operating officer of the Mariners, the club announced Friday.
The promotions do not stop there as Bob Aylward had been promoted to chairman of the board of Northwest Sports Net LLC, known by most as ROOT Sports NW. This is a position that outgoing president Chuck Armstrong previously held.
The promotions were first announced by chairman and CEO Howard Lincoln to the Mariners’ board of directors Friday morning. Mather and Aylward will report directly to Lincoln.
“Kevin and Bob have been very valuable executives of the Mariners. They are both extremely talented, experienced and well-qualified to lead our organization into the future. There will be a seamless transition as Chuck begins his retirement one week from today,” Lincoln said in a press release.
Lincoln added that Mather’s “experience in the game of baseball has prepared him well for this position. He is highly thought of around Major League Baseball and in this community. He will work closely with me to make sure Jack Zduriencik has the resources he needs to build winning teams. Jack remains the leader of the baseball side of our organization.”
The position with Northwest Sports Net LLC is relatively new as the Mariners have only recently entered into a partnership with majority ownership with them. Aylward played a large role in the acquisition, according to Lincoln.
“The Mariners own a majority stake in ROOT Sports Northwest, an extremely important part of our franchise’s future. Bob was instrumental in the Mariners acquisition of the regional sports network and will lead the network into the future. He will continue in his position as the Mariners EVP of Business Operations, and he is one of the very best in baseball,” Lincoln said.
Mather has spent the past 18 years with the Mariners organization. A native of Madison, Wis. and graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Mather got his start in baseball in 1989 as director of finance of the Twins. He was promoted to vice president in 1992. In 1996 he joined the Mariners as vice president of finance and was administration and promoted to his current position of executive vice president in 1999.
“Our fans, first and foremost, are our focus, and we understand what they want most – a championship team,” Mather said in the press release. “I am looking forward to supporting Jack Zduriencik, as he continues to lead the baseball operation and builds the Mariners both for 2014 and for future seasons. At the same time, our commitment to this community and this region will remain a top priority. This is a tremendous opportunity, and I’m excited about the Mariners future.”
Armstrong will complete his tenure on Jan 31.