Danny Wirtz explains why Blackhawks split presidency into two branches

Charlie Roumeliotis
·2 min read

Why Blackhawks split presidency into two branches originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Blackhawks officially formalized their leadership executive team on Wednesday and split the presidency into two branches.

Danny Wirtz, who had been serving as the interim president, was named the CEO while Jaime Faulkner was hired as the president of business operations. Stan Bowman was also elevated to president of hockey operations, in addition to his duties as general manager.

In an exclusive video call with team partners and season ticket holders on Wednesday, Wirtz explained the thought process behind separating the president and CEO roles but, at the same time, emphasized the importance of operating together with the hockey operations department.

"One of the things I think we really have improved on over the last 13 or so years is really breaking down that wall between the business and the hockey side," Wirtz said. "You see this across many sports, right? The sporting side has their own culture and they do their own thing and then the business [side] tries to run the business as best as possible. But the opportunity to really collaborate has always been there, and I think the Blackhawks, it's been a real hallmark of what we've done and why we've been so successful in the last decade-plus, so by no means do we want to disrupt that.

"In fact, I kind of use that as a springboard to say, from a leadership standpoint, how do you get the best of both worlds? How do you get the best business leader and the best hockey leader and form a structure that allows them to work together and learn from each other? We're all life-long learners, myself included, and we all want to get better."

It's become increasingly clear — over the last few years, especially — that the hockey and business operations departments have started to intertwine, for better or worse. It's a wise move by the organization to divide the two titles so there's no gray area within the structure, while still being able to collaborate on the overall vision.

And that's how it should be.

"Stan is very eager to work with Jaime to learn about her experience and how he can learn aspects of the business more, and Jaime is eager to learn more from Stan about the hockey operations and all the things that go into putting a winning team on the ice," Wirtz said. "So if we have that collaborative culture, I think we all get better and we all get stronger and the organization benefits from that."


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