After an off-day to process the organizational upheaval, let's take a look at where we stand. At this point, you've probably heard and read about Howard Lincoln passing the CEO torch to John Stanton, but we'd be remiss here at Lookout Landing if we didn't at least offer a short account of the man himself.
First, some background.
If you missed it, Nathan published a great retrospective on the rather polarizing Lincoln era. Kate recapped the press conference the Mariners held on Wednesday. What initially seemed to be just a CEO change turned out to be a far larger announcement: Nintendo of America would be selling the majority of its shares in the company to minority owners. Nintendo will retain a 10% share, and while the news was sudden, Nintendo never planned on keeping the team forever:
Stanton says the original dream of Hiroshi Yamauchi was to return the team to local ownership.— Shannon Drayer (@shannondrayer) April 27, 2016
So just who is John Stanton?
The billionaire communications exec has had a hand in building several prominent wireless companies, including VoiceStream Wireless (which would become T-Mobile) and Clearwire Corp. His business acumen is well-documented, and while that's important, I'm far more interested in his baseball credentials.
After two decades of distant ownership—geographic or otherwise—the Seattle Mariners will be controlled by a Seattle native who seems to check all of the boxes.
- He is a big baseball fan—more importantly, a Seattle baseball fan—and has been since the Pilots were playing in Sick's Stadium
- He has been a minority owner of the Mariners since 2000
- He owns shares in the Tacoma Rainiers, as well as in two wood-bat college summer teams, the Walla Walla Sweets and Yakima Pippins
And perhaps most importantly...
- He wants to win, and he's ready to do it now
While Stanton will not officially take over day-to-day duties until the owners' meetings in August, his ascension to the CEO-ship seems to be the latest positive development for the organization. With the complete overhaul of baseball leadership in the offseason, a change on the business side feels like another step in the right direction.
Stanton has a successful business track record, a real interest in the team and the city of Seattle, and he's ready to see the Mariners in the postseason. What more could we ask for?