After 13 years and three World Series championships, Larry Lucchino has announced that he will be stepping down from his role as CEO of the Boston Red Sox by the end of 2015, according to Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe.
Lucchino will be replaced by COO Sam Kennedy, but unlike his predecessor, Kennedy will not have a say in the team’s baseball operations according to Steve Buckley and Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald.
Lucchino has been with the Red Sox since becoming a co-owner of the team back in 2002, alongside principal owner John Henry and chairman Tom Warner. The trio revitalized Boston baseball by putting together the team that broke The Curse of the Bambino, as the Red Sox captured their first World Series in 86 years back in 2004.
Lucchino’s contract with the team was set to expire at season’s end, and given the recent refocusing of his attention to the Pawtucket Red Sox’s sale and move to Providence, as well as the now-defunct Boston 2024 Olympic bid, it is not shocking that Lucchino saw this as good timing for his departure. He is also turning 70 in September, another factor that may have influenced his decision.
Given the team’s recent failures in 2012, 2014 and 2015 that book-ended a stunning run to a World Series victory in 2013, there have been murmurs from the media (or uproar, depending on your preferred medium) about the need for the team to shake up their baseball operations division after struggling to find success despite spending at or near the luxury tax threshold in each season.
It wasn’t always pretty under Lucchino, and he got his share of his criticism for the overlap between business and baseball, but it’s hard to deny Lucchino’s impact on the team. If not for him and the Fenway Sports Group taking over in 2004, who knows if this team would have broken the curse at all.