The Mariners made it official Friday, announcing the promotion of Kevin Mather, the club’s executive vice-president of finance and ballpark operations, to team president, replacing the retiring Chuck Armstrong. At the same time, the Mariners named Bob Aylward chairman of the board of NW Sports Net, LLC, or Root Sports Northwest, the regional sports network. Both promotions were made by CEO Howard Lincoln.
“Kevin and Bob have been very valuable executives of the Mariners,” said Lincoln. “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.”
Mather, whose promotion was first reported by Geoff Baker in The Seattle Times, has been part of the organization since 1996 and executive vice president of finance and ballpark operations since 1999. Aylward will retain his responsibilities as the club’s executive vice president of business operations. Both report directly to Lincoln.
For weeks, the Mariners reportedly had an interest in filling Armstrong’s job with a candidate who had a strong baseball background. Former manager Tony La Russa was mentioned most often. Instead, the new club president will be a man whose background is in accounting and risk/insurance.
Mather’s most recent responsibilities included accounting and financial reporting, ticket and technology services, concessions, and the day-to-day operations of Safeco Field. He also oversaw the Mariners’ five team stores, as well as non-baseball events at the ballpark.
In 2006, the Puget Sound Business Journal recognized Mather as a nominee for CFO of the Year.
Mather came to the Mariners after serving as VP of finance for the Minnesota Twins for more than four years. Before his career in baseball, Mather was with the certified public accounting firm of Delotte, Haskins & Sells.
“His (Mather) experience in the game of baseball has prepared him well for this position,” Lincoln said. “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.”
Mather is a native of Madison, WI., and a 1984 graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where he received a degree in accounting.
“Our fans, first and foremost, are our focus, and we understand what they want most – a championship team,” said Mather, 51. “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.”
Aylward joined the Mariners in June, 1997 as VP of business and sales. He is responsible for the club’s revenue-producing efforts, including corporate sponsorships. Prior to joining the Mariners, Aylward, a Vanderbilt graduate, served as a business consultant to the Tampa Bay Rays.
“The Mariners own a majority stake in Root Sports Northwest, an extremely important part of our franchise’s future,” said Lincoln. “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.”
“The club’s business operations and Root are integral to the future of the franchise, and I appreciate the opportunity to direct both groups,” said the 60-year-old Aylward, a native of Pace, MS.
hallelujah no larussa! job 1 for new prez: get rid of metal detectors at the family friendly ballpark up the street from the strip club. job 2: lower beer prices.
Can’t you request the possible? Like, getting another career .225 hitter coming off surgery to fit somewhere in the lineup?
hey, dodgers just signed chone figgins to minor league deal. happy new year (belated), art.
Oh gawd, more of the same from the Mariners. When will this franchise ever get it’s act together?
As long as Lincoln is there? NEVER
not an earthshatttering move by a awful organization. Lower ticket prices till we start competing again. Let people move closer when there is no one in the good seats, lower beer prices so the average Joe can afford to go to a game.
Cheaper, drunker, closer. Not a bad slogan for 2014.
Kevin Mather? Loved him in “Leave it to Beaver.” As long as he knows enough to use the phrase “Whatever you say, Howard” as a mantra, he’s safe. It’s all about the Benjamins with this organization, as evidenced by the new team president’s background. Nothing changes.
Already looking forward to wood-bat college baseball at our local old-school ballpark starting in March. Hard to beat $5 doubleheades, no traffic hassles, free parking and no CPAs or lawyers deciding what kind of team I’m going to watch.
You’ll enjoy accounts-receivables bobblehead night.
More M’s insanity – just keep doing what you have been and expect things to change!
Lincoln may have done well, somehow, at Nintendo, but he’s a fool in his M’s position.
All this does for me is ensure I will not buy M’s tickets for yet another season.
Could have been worse: Jerry Mathers was available (kids: Look it up).
Lincoln’s Canasta partners?
Remember, this is Howard Lincoln, not Abraham Lincoln, who hired some of his harshest critics for staff and administrative posts.
None the less … it has the feel of a typical buddy-thing from the Skull & Bones Society.
I don’t see Mathers duties changing much. I bet Howard reorganized them and that Mathers doesn’t have nearly as much control that Chuck did. Mathers background is finance. It’s possible Jack Z. has more authority than he did before and doesn’t have to keep everyone in the loop or doesn’t have to get permission tp do a deal before pulling the trigger and then get beat to the punch by another team.
I believe the phrase is: Circling the wagons.
Any truth to the rumor George Costanza was a finalist?
Missed it by one: Kramer.
This is very exciting. Mather’s spreadsheets and presentations are something to behold. The visual basis for the application of his multidimensional accounting skillset is obvious and should be embraced by all of baseball. We will be leading the way in off the field presentation of relevant graphic analysis of zone response and travel time breakdowns by ticket price ranges. The keyword here is cognitive fit. I’m having a cognitive fit.