Source: Bears expected to hire Kevin Warren as new CEO/President

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Source: Bears expected to hire Kevin Warren as CEO/President originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The Bears are expected to name Big Ten commissioner, Kevin Warren, as their next CEO/President, a source confirmed to NBC Sports Chicago's Josh Schrock. First reported by NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

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Warren will begin working on Apr. 17, according to a report from ESPN's Pete Thamel.

Warren started working in the NFL in 1997 with the then-St. Louis Rams. He was hired as the Vice President of Player Programs/Football Legal Counsel. His most significant stint in the NFL came with the Minnesota Vikings, where he served for 14 years starting in 2005.

He was integral in developing U.S. Bank Stadium in Minnesota for the Vikings. This attracted the Bears heavily because one of their top organizational priorities is constructing a stadium with the land they agreed to purchase in Arlington Heights. The project was predicated upon current CEO/President, Ted Phillips; but, he announced his retirement would take effect at the end of the season.

Outside the NFL, Warren has served as commissioner of the Big Ten since 2019, becoming the first African-American commissioner in conference history. There, he helped secure one of the largest, most unique media rights deals in college sports history, locking in a multi-faceted, $7 billion deal with FOX, NBC, CBS and the Big Ten Network.

Warren also built the conference into one of the largest powerhouses in the country, expanding to 16 teams planned for 2024. The conference will stretch from California to New Jersey by next year.

RELATED: Warren would make perfect sense to be Bears' next president

It was reported before the New Year that the Bears had significant interest in Warren for the position. The Bears began their search for Phillips' successor in the summer after he announced he would be retiring. Once news of their enthusiasm for Warren leaked, the Bears released a statement about the hiring of a new CEO/President.

“We have not set a timeline for announcing Ted Phillips' successor," the Bears wrote in a statement. "Our search team has cast a wide net, spoke to many outstanding candidates and looks forward to introducing our next President and CEO at the process’s conclusion.”

Warren will become the fifth president in franchise history, taking after the work of George Halas, George Halas Jr., Michael McCaskey and Phillips.

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