Kenny Williams' health, goals among reasons for change
October, 27, 2012
By Bruce Levine
There are several reasons why Kenny Williams accepted a promotion to become an executive vice president in the White Sox organization.
In a one-on-one interview with ESPNChicago.com, the former GM revealed that health concerns played a prominent role in his decision to turn over the day-to-day operation of the team to Rick Hahn.
“I think it was time," Williams said. “I have never learned how to dial it back. After decades of not sleeping and your stomach doing odd things to you and your doctor telling you if you don’t learn to dial it back, then you could be potentially cutting years off of your life, you stop. Even if I am not challenged the way I am used to as a Type-A personality, I will always have that little guy on the other shoulder saying ‘yeah but you know the consequences.' "
The always intense executive will be involved with upper level baseball decisions as well as troubleshooting in all areas of White Sox business. Part of his plan down the road is to learn how to run an entire baseball franchise.
“I have to let Rick evolve into the general manager versus being an assistant GM," said Williams. “I have to step back for awhile. You won’t see me at the general managers meetings as an example because that's his role. It won’t be because I don’t want to be there or I am not interested. You just must allow people to have their own identity."
Williams will also look at this new job as training wheels for his next business goal. “One of the things I look forward to in this challenge is to delve into other aspects of this organization and understand them to a greater degree. If the opportunity arises where I can be a part of an ownership group either here or elsewhere, I will have more knowledge and capabilities to hit the ground running.
The 48-year-old California native would like to make his mark at the highest level of the game.
“After helping the White Sox win another World Series, (ownership) would be my next level of challenge," Williams said. “It has been (65 years ) since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. I think there is a place for African–American ownership in the sport. Somebody has to do it, so why not me?"
Williams will spend part of his time living in Chicago, where he bought a new home, and the rest in New York with his girlfriend.