Theo Epstein, the executive who brought a World Series title to Chicago after a century-long drought, has stepped down as president of baseball operations for the Cubs and will be replaced by Jed Hoyer, the team said Tuesday.
Epstein, 46, was the architect of the Cubs' World Series title in 2016, the club's first in 108 years. Epstein was entering the final year of his contract and leaves after nine seasons.
"For the rest of my life, I will cherish having been part of the great Chicago Cubs organization during this historic period," Epstein said in a statement. "All of the things that have made this experience so special -- the fans, the players, the managers and coaches, ownership, my front office colleagues, the uniqueness of the Wrigley experience, the history -- make it so tough to leave the Cubs. But I believe this is the right decision for me even if it's a difficult one. And now is the right time rather than a year from now.
"The organization faces a number of decisions this winter that carry long-term consequences; those types of decisions are best made by someone who will be here for a long period rather than just one more year. Jed has earned this opportunity and is absolutely the right person to take over this baseball operation at such an important time," Epstein said.
Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts announced Tuesday that this potential move had been discussed over the last several years.
"Theo and I have been communicating about this possible move for a couple of years, and we have been working together toward a transition that makes sense for the Cubs and for him," Ricketts said. "The timing is right for a number of reasons, and most importantly we are both thrilled that Jed is the person succeeding Theo. We have had our most successful period in over a century under Theo's leadership, and we are grateful for everything he has given to this organization and this city.
"Jed has been a big part of that success, too, and offers a combination of continuity and a fresh perspective that will serve us well as we look forward to another period of sustained success."
Epstein, who officially departs on Nov. 20, plans to take the upcoming season off. He is not leaving to take the top job of the New York Mets or Philadelphia Phillies, per multiple reports.
"Next summer will be my first in 30 years not clocking into work every day at a major league ballpark," Epstein wrote in a letter to friends about his decision, ESPN reported.
Hoyer joined the club in 2011 as general manager.
Prior to joining the Cubs, Epstein engineered the end of an 86-year World Series drought in Boston as the Red Sox rolled to titles in 2004 and 2007.
--Field Level Media