CHICAGO (WGN) — Theo Epstein announced Tuesday that he will step down as the Chicago Cubs’ president of baseball operations.
Epstein’s last day is Nov. 20, ending his nine-year run with the club. He’ll be succeeded by current general manager Jed Hoyer, NewsNation affiliate WGN-TV reported.
Hired by the Cubs on October 25, 2011, Epstein led a complete rebuild of the team. From 2015 through 2020, the Cubs made the playoffs five times, the NLCS three times, and won the 2016 World Series.
That championship was the first for the club in 108 years and snapped the longest championship drought for a North American professional sports franchise.
After the Cubs’ loss in the 2020 National League Wild Card series to the Marlins, Epstein spoke to reporters about a possible change in leadership involving himself. At his introductory news conference in 2011, he spoke about a need for change in sports organizations every 10 years, and he reiterated that this October.
Epstein released the following statement:
“For the rest of my life, I will cherish having been part of the great Chicago Cubs organization during this historic period,” said Epstein. “All of the things that have made this experience so special — the fans, the players, the managers and coaches, ownership, my front office colleagues, the uniqueness of the Wrigley experience, the history — make it so tough to leave the Cubs. But I believe this is the right decision for me even if it’s a difficult one. And now is the right time rather than a year from now. The organization faces a number of decisions this winter that carry long-term consequences; those types of decisions are best made by someone who will be here for a long period rather than just one more year. Jed has earned this opportunity and is absolutely the right person to take over this baseball operation at such an important time.
“I am grateful to everyone with the Cubs: to the Ricketts family for this opportunity as well as for their loyalty; to the fans for their support and the depth of their emotional connection with the team; and to the players, coaches, staff and my front office colleagues for their friendship, excellence and dedication to helping us accomplish our initial goals of regular October baseball and a World Championship.”
“Theo and I have been communicating about this possible move for a couple of years, and we have been working together toward a transition that makes sense for the Cubs and for him,” said Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts in a statement. “The timing is right for a number of reasons, and most importantly we are both thrilled that Jed is the person succeeding Theo. We have had our most successful period in over a century under Theo’s leadership, and we are grateful for everything he has given to this organization and this city.”