Rangers CEO Greenberg leaving organization
It didn’t take long for Chuck Greenberg to become a very visible
figure for the Texas Rangers, buying the team in a dramatic
bankruptcy court showdown and then taking on the role of CEO and
managing partner before the team’s first-ever World Series.
On Friday, seven months after his investment group bought the
team, the AL champion Rangers abruptly announced that Greenberg was
leaving the organization. The move came three weeks before the
Growing differences between the charismatic CEO, team president
Nolan Ryan and board co-chairmen Ray Davis and Bob Simpson had been
an ongoing issue out of the public eye.
”In reality, management styles and chemistries sometimes don’t
fit together. That was the situation with Chuck and the board and
Nolan,” Davis said. ”Chuck made a huge contribution and we wish
him all the best success in the world in whatever he endeavors to
The ownership group has already bought out Greenberg’s small
financial stake in the team. Simpson said Greenberg turned down the
opportunity for another position in the group, one ”not in the
full role that he was enjoying.”
Ryan will add the title of CEO and oversee baseball and business
operations, reporting directly to the team’s board of directors.
The Hall of Fame pitcher, who finished his 27-season playing career
with the Rangers, became their team president in February 2008.
Davis and Simpson, the largest investors in the ownership group,
wouldn’t get into specifics about the differences with Greenberg in
what was their first formal news conference since taking over the
team last year. Neither would Ryan.
”I don’t really think there was an event that created the
separation. I think it was just a combination of philosophies,”
Ryan said. ”It’s like a marriage, you never know. You think things
are going to work. … In business until you really get in there on
a day-to-day basis do you really get a true feel for how it’s going
Greenberg didn’t return several messages left by The Associated
Press, but in a statement released earlier by the team indicated
the differences in the ownership group.
”Unfortunately, Nolan Ryan, the co-chairmen and I have somewhat
different styles. While I am disappointed we did not work through
our differences, I remain wholeheartedly committed to doing what’s
right for the franchise,” Greenberg said. ”Together we concluded
it is best for all concerned for me to sell my interest back to
Rangers Baseball Express and move on. I do so with a heavy
Greenberg, a Pittsburgh attorney who owns two minor league
baseball teams, recently moved into a new home in North Texas. His
role had been to oversee the business side of the franchise while
Ryan took care of baseball operations.
Greenberg and Ryan were the most visible figures during the
prolonged process of purchasing the Rangers from Tom Hicks. After
entering into exclusive negotiations with Hicks in December 2009,
an initial agreement was reached the following month.
But the acquisition was delayed and ended up in U.S. Bankruptcy
Court. The team’s May filing included a plan to sell to the
investor group led by Greenberg and Ryan, but angry creditors
successfully argued to reopen the bidding.
The messy court fight dragged on for 11 weeks and included an
auction showdown with Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban last
August. The Ryan-Greenberg group finally won with a bid valued at
about $590 million.
”Chuck’s determination during an extremely long and complicated
sales process was crucial in delivering a positive outcome for our
ownership group last August,” Ryan said. ”We owe him a great deal
of thanks for those efforts.”
Davis touted Greenberg for putting the ownership group together
and ”spearheading through the bankruptcy process.”
The day after Major League Baseball formally approved the sale,
Greenberg and Ryan announced lower prices for concessions, parking
and merchandise at Rangers Ballpark. When Greenberg wasn’t sitting
in the front row with Ryan through the end of the regular season
and in the playoffs, he was often interacting with fans.
In the weeks after the World Series, which the Rangers lost in
five games to San Francisco, the team added a new chief operating
officer and three vice presidents. They announced the first in a
series of scheduled improvements at the 16-year-old stadium,
including $13 million in video, technology and audio updates for
this season. A new 5,000-square-foot HD screen already sits high
above right field.
The Rangers this winter moved their Triple-A franchise to Round
Rock, Texas, a natural fit because of location and its ownership by
the Ryan family. The franchise’s High-A team was shifted to Myrtle
Beach, S.C., one of Greenberg’s minor league teams and where the
Rangers will play an exhibition game March 29.
Despite his expanded role, Ryan doesn’t expect much of a change
in what he does. He likened it to when he was the team president
during the bankruptcy while Major League Baseball was overseeing
”I expect to be able to do both with the team of people that we
have in place,” Ryan said. ”I don’t see the business side of it
being run any differently than my approach on the baseball