Don Bauder 3:39 p.m., Jan. 31
Mike Dee tapped for President and CEO of the Padres
Dee returns to the Padres where he teethed as a sports franchise executive under his mentor
You might have heard the name Mike Dee before Wednesday, when the Padres announced he would return to the Padres organization as President and CEO replacing Tom Garfinkel. Garfinkel resigned eight days prior. Dee was with the Padres under former President and CEO Larry Lucchino from 1995 until 2002.
Dee then left with Lucchino to join the Boston Red Sox as Executive Vice President of Business Affairs and then COO of the Red Sox and President of Fenway Sports Group. In 2009, Dee left the Red Sox organization to take the position of CEO of the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League.
Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and lead investor Peter Siedler, of the ownership group, released a joint statement. “We are ecstatic to bring Mike back to San Diego as our president and CEO. He has the experience, passion and intellect to drive this organization to great success. All of these qualities, combined with his familiarity with our community and his legendary energy, are going to assure exciting times for Padres’ fans.”
Mike Dee also released a statement, "I am thrilled to be coming home to San Diego - an extraordinary community that has always been very special to me. The Padres organization is where I started my sports career nearly two decades ago, and I am grateful to Ron and Peter for the opportunity to return to my roots."
Beginning as Director of Corporate Development with the Padres in 1995, Dee was eventually promoted to Senior Vice President of Business Affairs in 2001. While Dee was assisting Lucchino, the Padres won their division twice, including an appearance in the World Series in 1998 where they were swept by the New York Yankees.
Also under Dee, Lucchino, and former owner John Moores, San Diego voters passed Proposition C which approved public funding to build Petco Park. The team began play there in 2004, two years after Dee's departure to the Red Sox.
Perhaps ironically, one of Dee's duties as CEO of the Miami Dolphins was to secure public funding to enhance Sun Life Stadium where the Dolphins play. The NFL has threatened to pull Miami from consideration for hosting further Super Bowl games unless the stadium undergoes significant renovations.
A bill which was floating around the Florida House of Representatives that would have secured a public vote on the issue to raise $350 million dollars for the stadium renovations, mostly from public funds, died in May. With Dee as CEO of the franchise, the Dolphins went 27-37 in four seasons and failed to make the play-offs.
Some NFL insiders have suggested that Dee's days as Dolphins CEO might have been numbered anyway, but in a statement released by the Dolphins, Dee will stay on in his capacity in Miami for an estimated two months until his replacement can be found.
Fowler and Dee have known each other for well over a decade. Fowler has indicated in various media outlets recently that Dee's philosophy concerning player personnel is more in line with what the ownership group hopes to achieve than was that of Tom Garfinkel.
As has been the case since Fowler took over as Executive Chairman of the ownership group, no specifics were mentioned as to what direction is expected to be taken in that area. Fowler has only been vocal in his desire to sign third baseman Chase Headley to a long-term deal.
After a career year last season, Headley 29, is hitting only .229 with 7 home runs and 31 runs batted in. Fowler went public in his hopes to negotiate a long-term contract several weeks ago, which Headley rebuffed stating that any negotiations would have to take place after the season is over.
It is unclear to what extent that Dee will be part of the decision making process concerning player personnel. It wasn't apparent that Garfinkel had much, if any direct involvement in such moves.
(Photo credit: Miami Dolphins via Padres Media Relations)
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- Police investigating mysterious disappearance of Padres President/CEO Tom Garfinkel — July 10, 2013
- Padres President and CEO Tom Garfinkel resigns — July 9, 2013
- Garfinkel keeps talking — April 19, 2013