White Sox promote Rick Hahn
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox promoted Rick Hahn to general manager, while Ken Williams was promoted from GM to executive vice president, the team announced Friday.
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"Rick's promotion (from assistant GM) is very well deserved," White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. "He is one of the most respected young executives in baseball today and that reputation is well earned given his relationships with other team executives, players, agents, manager Robin Ventura and our coaches, members of the media and White Sox fans. Kenny and Rick together have worked very successfully over the past 12 seasons, and I am excited to see this dynamic grow and expand as Rick assumes more day-to-day authority and responsibility while Kenny is allowed to focus even more on macro issues, talent evaluation and long-term planning for the organization."
Hahn will be responsible for oversight of all player personnel matters, coaching staff decisions, player development and scouting operations.
"As most people are aware, Rick has been indispensable to me as assistant general manager over the past 12 seasons," Williams said in a statement. "He already plays a prominent role representing the White Sox publicly and within baseball. I am very proud of Rick's growth since he joined our front office, and this promotion rewards his talents, hard work and commitment toward our organization's goal of bringing Chicago another World Series title."
Hahn had been considered one of MLB's top GM candidates.
"I am very appreciative and honored to be named general manager of the Chicago White Sox," Hahn said in a statement. "I want to thank Jerry and Kenny for allowing me to grow during my 12 seasons with the club and for trusting me with this responsibility and opportunity in my hometown. I want nothing more than to win another championship for the city of Chicago and White Sox fans. I am looking forward to hitting the ground running next week at our organizational meetings and toward working with Ken, our baseball operations staff, Robin and our coaching staff as we build on last season's accomplishments for an even better 2013."
The White Sox have made two trips to the playoffs -- including a World Series victory in 2005 -- under the Williams-Hahn pairing.
""You cannot say enough about Ken Williams' value to the Chicago White Sox, his contributions to our success and the passion he brings to the ballpark each and every day," Reinsdorf said. "Kenny raised the idea of promoting Rick several years ago, and we all have agreed that this is the right time to increase the scope and range of Kenny's involvement while he continues to maintain oversight and final approval on major baseball decisions."
Williams' role is expected to have new responsibilities such as building interest in the team and generating new ticket sales for a franchise that drew fewer than 2 million fans for the first time since 2004 despite leading the AL Central for most of the season.
"I am excited about the future of this organization, proud of Robin Ventura's job in 2012, and I am focused on ways we can continue to grow and enhance this organization," Williams said. "While we fell short of our ultimate objectives last season, every one of us is working diligently to improve this team in 2013 and see the White Sox playing in October. We owe that to all of our fans."
The White Sox announced last week they will drop or keep the same prices for 87 percent of season tickets, with 54 percent dropping by an average of 26 percent.
Howard Pizer also was named senior executive vice president.
ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine contributed to this report.